Stephen finished the NYC trip documentary! He is still working on breaking it down into 10 minute segments for YouTube... but he pulled my interviews for me & you can watch it here.
When I got back from New York I was ready to conquer the world with the love of Jesus. I got a better understanding of His love while I was there. The awesome thing is that it seemed to be a central theme for the entire team. Although I have this intense feeling to want to change my world, I'm a bit overwhelmed... not knowing where to begin.
Then I was reminded that all I need to do is listen & comply. He will lead & guide me. The first thing we knew we had to do as soon as we got home was start a small group about the love of God & practical hands on ministry training for the young adults. Check... we began our "Reach for the Scars" launch last night with a movie called The Cross (a MUST see for EVERYONE). I asked the member analyst on our church staff to pull all young adults who have attended our church in the past 6 months & we did a mass mailer to about 280 young adults. I created the postcard & included the movie night date as well as a blurb explaining what YAM is & how they can get connected. We had some new faces last night... not as many as I had anticipated, but that's OK because I know God will bring who needs to be there. It started last night with the movie & we will begin a book study on October 2nd.
We also knew that we wanted to have some sort of city outreach in September. This worked out lovely... before we even got home from New York our ministry coordinator sent Stephen a text letting him know our Pastors wanted the young adults to be involved in a big outreach effort that will be taking place on Sept. 18th downtown! Woo hoo! It's going to be held at a large park in the city. This is a great location because there are a lot of homeless people (it's the same place we did "30 Hours of Hunger" earlier this year)... it's also a place where a lot of college kids hang out... there are fraternity & sorority houses near the park. We are promoting it with a flyer blitz that will take place next Friday. The YAM band will play music and then our pastor will share the gospel message. The congregation will help by serving free food & just loving on people. That worked out great, huh?
Last night was perfect! We were struggling to find the right movie to show. It came down to the last minute & our coordinator suggested "The Cross"... we hadn't even seen it yet. We watched it for the first time with everyone last night & it could not have been more perfect... it expressed everything that has been on our hearts! Awesome how God worked out those details!
Some of the ideas we have for the upcoming months are... a homeless winter coat drive, nursing home visits, streets dramas, children's hospital visits, half way house visits... another thing we got from the trip is the importance of relationships. A lot of our "most memorably moments" had a name attached to them. We met so many wonderful, precious people there... and I can't wait to meet some more. It's just so awesome to see how God is moving in this ministry.
After the movie I shared a little from my heart with the young adult. Some of what I talked about...
I was reading in Mark the other day where Jesus said... "if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Mark 8:34) I've heard that preached before & I get the gist of what He's saying, but I prayed... "Lord, show me what that really means. I want to know exactly what you mean by this because I don't want to miss it!"
Then I thought about what the cross must have meant to our Heavenly Father. The cross held His dying, beaten, wounded son. A son that He sent for that very purpose... to die for us! I realized that to God the cross must represent sacrificial, unconditional love. God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His only begotten son. That gave me a better understanding of what the cross needs to represent in our lives. We need to love people with the love of God... self-sacrificing, unconditional, non-judgemental love. After all we are God's hand's & feet here on earth... right?
I ended with this quote from Mother Teresa... "We can do no great things, only small things with great love"
We may not be able to conquer the entire world... but we certainly can make a huge impact in OUR own individual worlds!
What small things do you have for us today Lord?