For our students, today was not just a step out of their comfort zones, it was a giant leap! Walking the streets of the inner city while picking up kids for a church camp is not your typical Wayne County activity. Yet all the students had smiles on their faces, practicing the first rule for Kingdom Camp: Be Friendly! Students stepped it up today, and over 100 kids heard about Jesus because of it.
After the kids were returned to their homes, everyone got back for a debriefing period, and boy did everyone look tired. But our cook for the week, Angie, soon took care of that with her delicious pulled pork! Angie’s story was also encouraging. She and her husband came to Christ after their youngest son attended multiple camps here at Urban Hope. The people of Urban Hope prayed for 10 years for Angie and her husband, and God finally got a hold of their lives. It really showed our team that we might not see it over this week, but the work they do will plant the seeds in the kids lives that may impact them and their families down the road.
Then it was time for our homeless ministry.We packed lunches and then headed for Logan Square and Love Park. For those who had never been on this trip before, they were pretty nervous. After we got out, we were swarmed by some homeless people looking for the lunches. I totally expected a bunch of totally overwhelmed students, but I was completely blown away by these students. They just took it in stride and struck up conversations with anyone they could. Some conversations lasted well over 45 minutes, a lot included our students sharing the gospel with these people and most ended with students praying with the person they met. What was a group of pretty nervous students transformed into a group of students excited and on-fire for Christ after the great experiences they had. Seriously, I could write book about all the conversations and interactions the students had tonight. It was an incredible experience, and our team seemed a bit closer afterwards!
What started as a giant leap out of their comfort zones turned into students jumping into the hands and feet of Christ today. Students really started to see people through God’s eyes, and it is a beautiful thing to see. During the kids camp, the gears were moving in the students’ minds and hearts, but the homeless ministry really drove it home! These people aren’t really scary. They are people with unique stories to tell, who just want someone to listen to them and love on them, and that is what our students are doing. Our hope as leaders is that they will continue to have their eyes opened to God’s viewpoint, and that it goes home with them, so they can see the people at home through God’s eyes too.
Keep praying! God is doing great things with this team, and we are not even halfway through. Pray that students would continue to look at everything through God’s eyes, not only during the camps and the ministry opportunities, but even when we are sight-seeing and cheese-steaks eating tomorrow night. God is always at work, even when we are not! And He is definitely at work here on this trip!