The Journey Blog

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

Archive for the category “Events”

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.

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.

Hot Chocolate Brings People Together – Wilmington Outreach Update 1.22.12

The past two Sundays, our group decided to bring some hot chocolate downtown and serve it to our friends in Rodney Square (along with our usual bag lunches). On the 15th, it was unseasonably warm, so we didn’t have a bunch of takers. But this past Sunday, it was a pretty popular item. Three of us went last week, not sure what to expect with the low temperatures and everything still covered in snow. There weren’t many people other than those huddled in the bus stops. We walked into one with our big jug of hot chocolate and food and started offering it out. It’s funny how much having a warm cup in your hand on a cold day can change the social dynamic of a situation. We were mostly all strangers (aside from those that we had met on previous Sundays), but enjoying a meal and a drink together really opened up our conversations. We were able to hear what was on the hearts of lots of people, some experiencing homelessness, some just waiting for the bus, and got to pray for/with them. It makes sense that Jesus spent so much time eating and drinking with people.

I specifically remember praying for Beau, a guy we met before who is currently homeless and struggling with an alcohol addiction. It was a really meaningful prayer time and he seemed impacted by it. Please join us in prayer for him and others who are on the streets of Wilmington as the temperatures drop this winter.

Brief Relief 2011 + other events from Christmas break!

"My Name is Drew" performing at Brief Relief 2011

$737 and 116 pairs of underwear.

Brief Relief is a benefit concert run by BVBC every winter, spotlighting local bands to raise money and clothing for the impoverished in our own community. It all started years ago, when we found out that one of the most needed clothing donations at homeless ministries is underwear.  While it’s common for homeless shelters and clothing banks to get shirts, pants, etc, it’s easy to forget that they have to buy underwear.  So we started a benefit concert where admission is either a package of underwear or $7.  This year, all the underwear donations are being given to Wilmington’s largest homeless shelter, the Sunday Breakfast Mission, and the financial proceeds will be donated to Urban Promise, another ministry that does great work in Wilmington.  For more information about the event, including the band lineup, see the BR Facebook Event.  Also, check out this video of Nick Taylor and Jack Shepard from “Rain Falling Up”:

This year’s concert was another great experience – lots of people and lots of donations raised.  We also had a guest speaker from Urban Promise, Jeff Thompson, who came to share with us what was going on in their ministry – how God is using them to bring love and hope to a city that needs it desperately.  So it was a night of music, food, catching up with lots of friends, making a difference in hundreds of people’s lives, and learning about what God is doing in our city.  Sounds like a good night to me.

In other Journey updates – we had a great time last week with our Ice Skating/Cheesesteak trip to Philly on Tuesday and our prayer & worship night on Thursday.  During the prayer & worship night, we had a good chance to reflect on what God has done in our lives in 2011, and looked forward to what He’s going to do in 2012.  It was awesome!

McKinley Short performing at Brief Relief 2011

Merry Christmas and Party Re-Cap!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  There is no Sunday Morning Journey class tomorrow morning, but there is one church service from 10:30 – 11:30 AM.

We had a great time at the Journey Christmas Party on Thursday night – we packed out my house with 33 people!  There was a great white elephant gift exchange, great conversation, and of course – lots and lots of amazing desserts.  Thanks for everyone who came out!

Ok, time to eat some dinner and head over to BVBC for the Christmas Eve service.  Have a safe and Merry Christmas – and don’t forget why we celebrate!

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