Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Promises and Prison Tats

This is a cool quote from Rick James' book "A Million Ways to Die"

When God wants to produce a great man or woman of faith, he typically throws them into a jail cell without explanation and pretends to lose the key.  Nice work, Paul! Go to jail.  Great choice, Joseph! Go to jail.  Well done, Jeremiah! Go to jail.  Good work, Isaiah!  Go sit in a cistern! 

There, in the dark, isolated, confused, and apparently forgotten, faith has nothing else to do but go out to the "yard" in it's orange jumpsuit and pump iron with the other inmates: "God does have plan for me.  God hasn't forgotten me.  This isn't a punishment.  God will rescue me."

Here is where the promises and truths of God become prison tattoos, permanent and inseparable parts of us. We own God's goodness because we've had to fight every hour of every day.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Highlighted in the Huffington Post

   Last year, I wrote a post about our ministries work with Barry Segal and the the Community Faith Partners in Ithaca to end homelessness in Ithaca.  

We've continued to stay involved in a significant way throughout this year, providing an army of volunteers to work at the Second Wind Cottages.

I'll write more about that sometime soon, but I was encouraged to see this endeavor highlighted in the Huffington Post


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Transformation in South Africa

I want to re-iterate what I wrote in my last post; that we are passionate about being involved in God's global ministry.  

In an amazing orchestration of events, God enabled one of our interns, Kelsey Karys to travel to Pretoria, South Africa this January with a group of Boston-area Cru students.  

Our Cru staff at Harvard; Pat and Tammy McCleod have been leading groups of students to join with South African college students in an incredible mission to tutor high school students, grades 8-12.  Check out the Mamelodi Initiative website for more information: http://mamelodi.org/

Kelsey Wrote about an 11th grade student named Emmanuel who was one of the students she had the privilege of meeting.  "Emmanuel is a smart, quiet boy who loves cars and dreams to go to MIT and then work for BMW.  Like most kids from Mamelodi, his father is no longer a part of his life.  Unlike other kids, he does remember his father being a Christ-like role model who taught him to work hard and trust God.  
Part way through the week, one of the American tutors, a student from MIT, got to share the Knowing God Personally booklet with Emmanuel. On the page that talked about how our sin separates us from God, he asked if that was really true, and listened intently about how Jesus is not just a good role model, but also his savior!  When I talked to Emmanuel on the last day I learned about his church background that was, like many black South Africans, a mix of traditional ancestral beliefs and Christianity.  But I got to share with him about the work of Jesus and how the Holy Spirit will shape us more and more into the image of Christ.  Emmanuel prayed that the Holy Spirit would bear fruit in his family, and bring love back into his household."

As Kelsey and the team were leaving, Emmanuel handed her a poem about the way God carries us through all difficulty.  For Kelsey it was humbling to witness some of the students' grasp of God's sovereignty -confidently trusting in God even as they may not know where their next meal will be coming from.