Sunday, April 27, 2008
Yesterday was a very long day for me. I (who say that 7:30 am is the middle of the night), arose at this ungodly hour and drove 30 minutes south to my church, the ROC. I have recently been convicted to start serving my church and my community, so I decided to take part in the nursing home ministry we do on Saturday mornings. Apparently they have a fellowship breakfast first, and then break into groups to go out and do the different ministries for the day. Our group, the nursing home ministry, had about 10 people, and we all got into an old van ( it made me remember church trips from when I was younger) with no rear view mirror and drove about 10 minutes to the nursing home. We were broken up into smaller groups. I was placed with two girls, Kari and Terry, and Kari was obviously the one most comfortable with doing the talking. I would have been fine just chatting with the old folks, but she was very much into making sure that they were saved..good thing she was there, as I'm not so great at witnessing like that. I am more relationship focused in my witnessing, you know, let people see that my life is different. Kari is a full-time ministry student, and she doesn't really beat around the bush. She wants these precious elderly people to have assurance of salvation, and I admire her boldness. It was very sad being there. Some of the people were mentally incapacitated, others physically ill, and many were dejected. One lady told us all her family was dead, and she was just sitting in the hallway looking miserable. I was so glad to be able to give her a big hug, and she did say the sinners' prayer with Kari. One woman told Terry to get the heck (edited) away from her as soon as she mentioned Jesus' name. We were also able to talk to a 67 year old man named Jim, and he was very cute. He kissed our hands as we were leaving. Most of the women that were part of the ministry team are residents at one of the two discipleship homes, which means that their service in outreach is obligatory. One girl looked like she was about 16, and was heavily pregnant (no wedding ring). I asked her the sex of the baby (boy), and if this was her first child. It is her third child, and she is only 22 years old. The discipleship homes take in addicts and homeless and give them a hope and a future in Jesus. Many of the women are recovering, so it is awesome to see how the Lord is changing their lives. Before ministry school, Kari the awesome girl was a resident in the discipleship homes too. She was addicted to heroin for four years, and now she wants to work full time for God, maybe being a social worker that can act on behalf of women in the discipleship homes. I am excited to get to know these women better, maybe become friends, certainly I will be able to pray for them, and the people I encounter during outreach. After we returned from the nursing home Kari took me under her wing and asked if I would like to stay and attend the kid' church, which started at one thirty. She and I went and grabbed Subway, and then came back to the ROC parking lot and waited for the buses to start rolling in. About fifteen buses had been dispatched when we left for the nursing home. The buses go out all over Richmond and pick up kids from the worst neighborhoods in the city. The volunteers knock on doors and collect all the kids who want to come to the ROC for a couple hours, and then they bring them and have a service where they learn about Jesus, and have a lot of fun doing it. I can't go out on the buses, because I haven't had a background check done, but I was able to sit on the bleachers and watch kids' church, and those kids were so cute. They had a dance-off before the service started, and let me tell you those kids had some MOVES! I'll just say that there was maybe one white kid in at least five hundred kids. Alot of them were doing some really cool breakdancing moves. The only thing I would break is my neck. I cried when they all sang "open the eyes of my heart". My heart breaks for these kids, who live daily with shootings and poverty and some with parents who aren't really there for them. It's great to see them be able to be silly and just be kids, learning about God's love. Many kids gave their hearts to Jesus at the end of the service. They stood up and said the prayer together (more tears over here). The kids got bussed back home after the service, and then the buses were on their way to pick up adults and homeless for the regular service. When I got home at about eight, I could barely keep my eyes open! I am excited to take part in the ministry that is changing our city one life at a time!