Today started as another seven-hour day of ministry. Cameron was intermittently better and still worrisome today; he was sometimes engaging with the other kids and having fun, and at other times closing off and not participating. Sandra (the leader of the program) told me he has ADHD, which I'm still not sure how it explains everything. But overall he seemed better today and I really hope he's getting something from the program.
Otherwise things were chaotic and stressful as usual, but improving. The program has several volunteers from the neighborhood, whom we're still figuring out how to employ. They were increasingly helpful today, with one even leading a worship song in the afternoon! We had some decent games, and as usual they heartily enjoyed basketball. Perhaps most importantly, they (the older kids) seemed pretty engaged and comprehending in the Bible lesson on jesus feeding the 5,000. I guess I can only pray that God really is getting through to them through us.
After the exhausting day was over, it was time for more discipleship with Dave! We drove out to Alterra coffee shop, where we talked over the challenges of our ministry. This week has been challenging like I've never been challenged before, which I'm glad for, but it's pretty straining for my faith to trust God in such a constant, day-to-day way. I've been having trouble really connecting with the kids and finding ways to fit in with them; at the end of the day of ministry, I ultimately have to trust God to work His will out through all our imperfections. Dave shared the story of Gideon with me; how God took the most unlikely person and led him to defeat the Midianites in the most impossible circumstances. If God used him, can't he use me and the rest of the team?
So it was a pretty reassuring discipleship. He also suggested abiding in God more closely, praying throughout the day and "thinking to God," not just myself. After we got back it was pretty much dinnertime. It was delicious spicy jambalaya, which I ate very quickly in order to get to the business of tonight: the weekly meeting! Having run media for the meetings back at Twin Cities Cru, I had volunteered to do tech for the meetings here. Even better, worship leader Jack had borrowed some equipment from UW Milwaukee, which I wanted to get there early to set up and figure out. With my roommate Aaron helping, we set up speakers, mics, a sound board, and projector.
So the meeting was a success, techwise and Godwise. The worship was really great and powerfully God-oriented; we also had two student testimonies which were pretty intense. The speaker delivered a message from a book; I didn't get the context, but the author shared the image of a black, homeless(?) man constantly visiting a crippled, racist man in a nursing home to care for him. It struck me as a shining example of working out God's love: giving so much of yourself in the worst conditions to love someone who doesn't thank your or even want any help. In reflection, God's unconditional love for us is probably pretty similar.
After putting away all the UWM equipment, we went to Leon's (custard place) to celebrate. I had a delicious root beer malt. After returning I finally got around to planning the lesson for tomorrow. We aren't too prepared, but for some reason I'm even less worried than before. Pray that God's strength would shine through our weakness and the children of the inner city would know His love!
Composed ~10:50 PM, Wednesday, June 23rd
In Returning and Rest You Shall Be Saved
5 hours ago