It's hard to believe I've been here two weeks--I can't decide if it feels more like two days or two months. It's been really challenging and testing pretty much every day, but at the same time everything seems to fly by.
Today was our first day of ministry with the team split in half. We stayed at Hopewell, and team two went to another place running a VBS called Straightway. Luckily some workplace ministry people who had nothing else to do for various reasons came along, so we still had nine people total. We were also there for only half the day due to coming back to help COAH with some ministry work in the afternoon.
Anyway, today was pretty good. We did the cruxifixion today for the lesson, which didn't turn out to be overly heavy and depressing but actually went quite well. With Jack gone, I led the older guys' lesson with Aaron helping. I think it went pretty well; I came up with some good discussion questions and some of the guys seemed pretty engaged and interested. (Some of the younger ones were still screwing around, which was saddening)
The one-day workplace volunteers got along very well with the kids. Aaron led his team to victory in basketball, Tim and Erica got along quite well with the younger kids, and Cheryl led one of the older girls to Christ!! Praise the Lord! I remember her asking if I had one of Campus Crusade's evangelism booklets and getting really excited.
After getting back from that and eating lunch (leftover jambalaya--mmm!), we joined the COAH staff for some evangelism with their students. At the same time as our summer-long mission, high and middle school students have been filtering in ando ut for one-week mission trips focusing on awareness of inner city life, evangelism training, and basically building their faith. We were doing some various evangelism techniques; I got to run a "prayer booth" with Emily, Daniel the COAH staffer, and Nick, one of the mission trip students.
We carried the sign and table out to an island in a big intersection near the ministry center and basically asked passersby if they wanted prayer. Some simply ignored us, but I'd say the majority were surprisingly open, asking for prayer on a variety of things. Everyone who asked for prayer was thankful for it; my favorite was a woman named Cheryl who pulled up asked for prayer on a failing kidney. A minute later, she ran up, having apparently parked on a side street, and prayed with us. It was really encouraging and good to be doing even something so simple for the city. It was also nice from an evangelism perspective to see how open peoples' hearts are, if only to prayer.
After that we came back exhausted and had delicious tacos for dinner. The second reflection night is tonight, and I feel called to work on my testimony during it. (We're all sharing them during project; I'm registered for July 14th) Pray that God would keep encouraging me and open my eyes to see His work through me instead of my own inadequate efforts. God bless!
Composed ~6:00 PM, Thursday, June 24th, 2010