I was wrecked Tuesday. After being in the Tenderloin district for 24 hours, many thoughts ran through my head. The biggest one was, “That could be me”. This statement is true for everyone, but for some people it hits a little closer to home.
When I was about 6 I moved away from Virginia Beach. My mom and dad had been together for many years, but unfortunately my dad had habits that he did not want to break. Through the years I have seen what things like drugs and alcohol can do to people. It is not pretty. I have known that, but being submerged into that world is a totally different story.
On Tuesday we had a service and we talked about how we are not higher than the residents in this district, but we should be humble and thankful that we were put in the places that we were. Throughout the day Tuesday I served people, and did different things. That night we went and did street ministry. We walked around the district and passed snacks out to the people that were on the streets, and talked to them. I have to admit I was scared. I did not like being on the streets, smelling drugs and alcohol. Most of all I did not like the way my heart felt. It was broken. As I observed my teammates loving on people, God spoke to me. He reminded me of where I came from. Of the brokenness I was born into. He reminded me how close to home this was.
Like I said, a lot of things in my dad’s life has been destroyed because of substances, and God made two things come to my mind, 1. If my mom did not have Jesus, I would have ended up on the streets. God put destiny in my mother’s life. He showed her what could happen if she did not leave my dad. He gave her courage to obey Him in raising us in a Godly home. Because of the grace of God, I am not nor have I lived in those conditions, but it is only because of Him. I did nothing, absolutely nothing to choose where I grew up. And the second thing that came to my mind, was who is reaching my dad? This broke me. I fought back tears, as I thought about how much hope was coming because of City Impact, and I wondered if there was any one that was doing the same thing for my own father.
I don’t know why people have to endure what they do. But I know one thing, If you believe in God, and Jesus as your savior, He has picked you to be on His team. That thought gives me peace. It gives me hope. In Psalm 33:6 it says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” That means that God breathed the stars into existence. I am a daughter of the one that breathes out stars and if He can do that He can deliver people from all of the issues they go through.
Lastly in John 17, Jesus prays for us. I would challenge you to read it on your own, but Jesus is about to go to be crucified. He prays to God and asks Him to keep His disciples, and the believers after them away from the evil one. He knows that we can not be delivered from living on this earth when we accept Him in our hearts, so He asks for protection. He reminds God that just like He was not of this world, neither are we. In the midst of a broken world, I am reminded that this place is not my home. And my only purpose for being here is to show people the love that God has for them and to show them that they too can have a better future, with the star breather. This alone gives me hope. It gives me joy.