Thursday, July 21, 2011

Urban Encounter

This summer I've had the opportunity to be involved with an outreach at our church called Urban Encounter.  Youth groups from around the country come and stay at our church and we share the gospel with people in the apartments surrounding our church.

During these weeks we connect with so many people, but mostly we connect with kids.  These kids we meet most of the time are unsupervised, probably haven't eaten and probably haven't had a bath in a while either.  We do crafts, songs, dance, and make PB&J's for them and most of all we love them and have a good time getting to know them and just being there for them even if it is just a few hours.

Today was my last day to do UE as I will be in Chicago next week, but I wanted to take some time and share this special picture with you.

This cuddly looking teddy bear was my special friend.  I met him just two weeks ago at our first outing to one of the apartments near by.  The first time we met, he was outside the small bounce house we rented, no parents around just his slightly older brother and sister.  Immediately he captured my heart, I asked him a few questions and to answer he simply nods his head.  And so I reached out my arms to him and without any hesitation he reaches out and is latched in my arms.  Today was no different, as soon as I saw him(he was swimming in the pool) and ran over and called his name and he knew who I was and reached out again and even though he was soaking wet I grabbed him up out of the water and got the biggest hug I've ever had.

I introduced him to some of the teens working with us today and right away everyone fell in love with him and his siblings.  And I have to say that when you come to this place of serving, where you say to God "Here I am, send me!"  it doesn't matter what happens to you, you will do anything for a child with such a sweet face.  He could have been covered in mud, but I still would have taken him up in my arms and held him.  It really didn't matter what happened to me I just wanted him to know that he is loved.

We sat on the side walk eating a snow cone and he sits in my lap, the teens have taught him how to eat the snow cone with the straw like a spoon(fast learner!) and I literally had to hold back tears.  How could anyone with the Spirit of God within them not have a heart for the lost and hurting?  How many of God's people really do the work of the kingdom? When did having a big house and expensive car and living "abundantly" become the goal of our lives?  What happened to having the heart and compassion of God for his people?

This little boy will always be in my heart and he will forever represent the aha moment where I understood that wherever God leads me I will do everything in His power, and that I will not care about silly things like getting wet or messy over a child.

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters