The Journey Blog

Stories and updates from the college ministry at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church!

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

I want to serve God, but ……….. – Wilmington Outreach Update 2.12.12

It’s COLD, it’s windy, I’m tired, it’s scary, I don’t know what I’ll say, I don’t know if anyone will be there, I’m hungry, I don’t feel like it, it gets in the way of my plans. These were just some of the excuses that went through our heads last Sunday afternoon while we were getting ready to go out and try to serve people in 20 degree windy weather. And I think the buildings downtown create a wind-tunnel that makes it feel even colder.

But five of us went anyway and met lots of people (yes, there are still people hanging out in Rodney Square in the middle of the winter). The most interesting conversation I had was with a guy named Ken. We met him about 30 seconds after I said “well, looks like we might strike out this week.” Ha. He was happy to receive our bag lunch and water, and seemed even more happy to talk to us. He was just on his way home from the hospital. Thankfully it didn’t seem like he had any major health problems, but once we got talking to him further he shared with us about some other issues he’s struggling with. He mentioned an addiction to alcohol and depression, among other things. We talked about faith and how God has the power to meet our deepest needs. While he agreed that he should turn to God for satisfaction, it didn’t seem like he was ready. Nonetheless, we had a great conversation and hopefully gave him some inspiration that will impact his future. We also had lots of great conversations with other people.

One of the lessons I learned this week has to do with making excuses. How often do we make excuses for what God wants us to do? Maybe you identify with some of the excuses listed above, or have others of your own. I guarantee you that when you recognize your excuses, put your selfish desires aside, and follow God, you will not be disappointed. But how do we do that?

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:21-25)

Join us in prayer for Ken, others in our city, and pray that you’d put your excuses aside through Christ and experience life to the fullest.

Advertisements

Meeting the Family of a Tragic Accident – Wilmington Outreach Update 2.5.12

Last Sunday was another great experience. We got to pray for healing for a man who has been having migraines, seizures, and a possible brain aneurysm; pray with someone who has “drifted away from God” over the years and is ready to re-commit, and had a long conversation with an intentionally “homeless” man who has been living on the streets of Wilmington for about 20 years. Of all these conversations last Sunday, the one that impacted me the most was in a bus stop with a man and his two daughters. We normally walk around Rodney Square and hand out food and water bottles to mostly everyone we come across. But there are certain people that are more intimidating to go up and talk to – because of their physical appearance, demeanor, or other reasons.  Still, we pray that God leads us to the people He wants us to talk to, even if it doesn’t make sense to us.

This man was one of those people, someone who I felt I should offer food and water to, but was expecting to get rejected. He graciously accepted what we had to offer, and we started talking. After a short conversation I asked him if he and his family wanted any prayers. Again – I thought it would be a quick and easy “no thanks” and we’d be on our way. But when I asked the question, he immediately said yes and began sharing with us. Apparently, his mother (the girls’ grandmother) was recently killed in a terrible accident – a hit and run that happened while she was trying cross the street in her wheelchair. This happened on south Market Street – not far from where we were. You can read about it in this news article: http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/national_world&id=8490315. After he shared this request with us, their bus arrived and our group went over to some benches to pray for them.

Edith, the woman who passed away in the hit and run accident on 1/4/12

What I realized from this experience is that sometimes God calls us to do things that don’t always make sense. I had a feeling that this guy wasn’t going to want anything we had to offer, but when we asked him for prayer he lit up like he knew we were sent for a reason. I don’t know very much about this family’s situation, but I do know that prayer is important and it’s all I can do for them at this point. Please join us in prayer for the people I listed above, and for this family as they mourn the loss of their beloved grandmother.

Pajama Party! Journey Small group 2/2/12

Just a quick update for those who are out of town – you missed out on our pajama party and brinner (breakfast for dinner) night!!!  There was tons of amazing food (pancakes of the following variety: chocolate chip, blueberry, bananas, m&m’s), biscuits, sausage, muffins, and lots more. 

After eating we had some worship time and a Bible study on Romans 11.  We learned about the meaning of “ingrafted branches,” talked about Paul’s heart for his fellow people, and how we as Christians can lead the kind of lives that attract people to become a part of God’s kingdom.  Romans is so good!  I’m looking forward to chapter 12 next week.  We’ll be trying to incorporate more fun events like this throughout the year.

What’s Your Response to Suffering? – Wilmington Outreach Update 1.29.12

What do you do when you are face to face with suffering?   We felt God calling us to this kind of ministry – to go on the streets of Wilmington and minister to people in need.  And yes, many times, our paths are directly crossed with people who are going through immeasurable suffering.

This past Sunday as our group of 5 went downtown, we encountered a few of these stories.  One of the first people we met was a man who appeared to be in his fifties sitting down on a ledge.  He seemed to be shivering with a coat wrapped around his arms.  After talking to him for a few minutes, he told us how he had been beaten badly with a metal pipe and just got out of the hospital.  He had a broken arm and significant wounds to his head and side.  He was certainly in no condition to be on the streets.  He wasn’t really shivering from the cold; it seemed like it was from the pain.  I thought of times when I’m sick or sore and all I want is my warm bed where I can escape from the rest of the world and recover.  But this man spends his days outside in the cold and nights in a homeless shelter with no personal space.

Another man, who we have become friends with over the past few months, had just gotten out of prison.  He told us stories of the injustices he faced over the past month or so.  But it became clear that the worst was when he found out his girlfriend had been cheating on him while he was locked up.  He was frustrated with where he is in life – homeless, jobless, criminal record, but his long-time girlfriend’s infidelity wrecked him the most.

When we face people in these kinds of situations, we aren’t naive (at least we try not to be).  We hear a lot of “victim” stories.  No one seems to take responsibility for why they ended up there.  It’s always someone else fault.  We know that, more realistically, it was probably a combination of bad circumstances and bad decisions.  But we don’t feel the need to judge or critique the person for why they are in their current state.  We feel called to love them as best we can, exactly where they are.  The beauty of the cross of Christ is that He saves us in spite of our bad decisions, not because we make good ones.

We all have people in our lives who are suffering.  Poverty isn’t just financial.  It’s relational; it’s spiritual.  So the next time you come face to face with suffering, I encourage you to engage it rather than avoid it.  Ask questions.  Listen. Pray for direction and that you’d know your role.  Be ambassadors of Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. (2 Corinthians 5).  And join us in prayer for Wilmington and the people who are suffering in it.

Post Navigation