Wednesday, November 17, 2010
That's the only word that can describe the last couple weeks. Within the last couple weeks, I have seen God take plans I had made for years ahead and completely wreck them. I still know that I'm called to ministry and strongly feel the call to missions, but my perception of "missions" has been turned upside down. Either way, within the next year I will be immersed in a mission field where I live among those I am serving. At one point I was sure of where that was and what that looked like, but now God seems to be really pushing me elsewhere. God has given me a heart for the poor and oppressed in this city that I didn't think was possible. I pray with all my heart that God does something real and powerful in Conway. For far too long the ghettos and slums and trailer parks have been ignored, simply places we drive by on Sunday on the way to church, secretly praising God we don't live there. Even those of us who do frequent these places tend to find ourselves in the place of thanking God we aren't like "them." I have been guilty of that. However, among "them" I have found community and family and the living, breathing, church that is the bride of Jesus Christ in a way that I have never seen anywhere else. So badly do I want God to use me to continue the great and powerful work He has started in Conway. So badly do I want my future wife to come alongside me as we bring a revolution spurred not by things like attendance numbers, bigger buildings, higher salaries, fancy signs, etc... but one spurred by love that is only capable because of the One who loves us. That is the revolution that I want. Within the darkness of prostitution, alcoholism, drug addiction, broken homes, abusive relationships, and violent crimes there is hope. I see hope when I am in Oakwood. I see the gospel of Jesus Christ changing hearts and transforming lives daily. I see the beauty that comes with being the hands and feet of Jesus. I guess the evidence of grace within all of this is that God has completely broken my heart for a people I once despised and looked down upon. He has shown me the true beauty in the depravity and darkness. He has shown me hope. What else am I to do but proclaim this hope?