Thursday, July 31, 2008

In the most unlikely places...

Ok, so I fell off the map again. It’s been over a month since I last posted, and I really could name a thousand excuses as to why I’ve gone AWOL, but none of them are very good. But in the time that I’ve been out of the blogosphere, I have begun a new chapter in my life, one that I hope becomes a blessing to others, because in just a short amount of time it has blessed me immensely.

Three weeks ago I began going to an apartment ministry in Mesquite, TX. This church was started a little over a year ago for the residents in a low-income apartment complex and on Wednesday nights they have Bible classes for the children and teenagers of the group. All of these teenagers come from very unhealthy backgrounds. Most of them come from single parent households, some from households where drug and alcohol abuse are an everyday occurrence and where Christ is rarely mentioned. I have a heart for these kids, especially the girls, because I grew up in very similar circumstances to most of them. The first night that I went they went to visit a new church building where they would be able to meet on Sundays for church. This church building was a big step up from where they have been regularly meeting, but still needs a lot of TLC. The beautiful thing about it is, they were all so excited about being able to fix up the building themselves, they saw this building as an opportunity rather than a hindrance to their worship. We sat in the auditorium and sang a few songs, discussed future plans for the church and prayed…all without any air conditioning on (and if you know anything about Texas summers, you will know that is a bad thing). But in this hot auditorium, where teenagers from varying backgrounds, and teachers who have a love for these kids gathered, Jesus was there. Last night we took the kids to a Texas Rangers baseball game. I’m not a huge baseball fan, but being there with these kids made it so worth it. A few of them confessed to me that they were only there so that they could get away from their house for a little while. We smiled, we laughed, we cheered, and before we got back into our cars to head home we circled around together in a packed parking lot and we prayed…and Jesus was there.

I think that most people feel that God is present at church and at certain points in their lives, but do we really believe that He is always present no matter where you are? I know that for me there have been times in my life where I tried to push God out because I didn’t want Him to be aware of my sin. (It even sounds silly to me as I type it) I have learned that even in the darkest of places He is there, we just have to look for him. In these small, run down apartments many people wouldn’t immediately think “I feel God in this place”, but lining the windows in the apartments where the church is held, is the name “Jesus” on various posters, signs, and drawings. On the faces of the teenagers, children and adults is Jesus. He is there, always watching, always loving, and it is a Beautiful thing.