Today my team, team B, A.K.A. Bomb-diggity, had the task of the “Urban Plunge”. In this ministry we rode the trolley into downtown New Orleans and while on it we needed to try and talk to the person who sat next to us. I talked to a custom shoe designer, Tom, he was very chill and told me a lot about the city and culture of New Orleans. Many of the other kids on my team had very similar conversations that allowed us to tell people about what we were doing and why a bunch of “white kids” were hanging on a trolley. This was very difficult for some people because most of us aren’t used to just striking us a conversation with a complete stranger. Everyone did an excellent job and I am very proud of my team (and the kids on the other teams too).
We also did “Under the Bridge”, which Abby talked about yesterday. I talked to about 3 guys and really got a good idea of what its like for them on a day-to-day basis. I was surprised that many of them had such a positive outlook on their lives even though they are living under a bridge, because I’m not sure I would be able to be as thankful as they are.
Today team C, short for team Classy, visited a ministry run by Mama Jan. To our surprise she turned out to be a 65 year-old white woman with an incredible testimony. Some very interesting stories throughout her life led her to find Christ as her savior and has made her on fire for the Lord ever since. She grew up in a family of witchcraft and made it very clear to us that Satan is real and alive in those people’s lives. Her destructive childhood made her a runner, a runner from her problems, for the first half of her life. She said that she was a member of the original Hell’s Angels and a victim of sexual assault. At age 38 she came to find Christ while in jail while nearly on her deathbed. After accepting Christ she has been probably one of the most outgoing Christians anyone will ever meet. Although her tactics may seem strange, such as running around New Orleans with a super soaker full of oil and water anointing them, she has done many great things for the city. The thing that stood out most to me were the children living in her house. A 14 year old who ran away from home, that has already seen 13 of his friends killed, was accepted at her house and now has a suitable home and sturdy support group. I challenge you parents to think about that for a minute. If a 13 or 14 year old African-American boy showed up on your doorstep and asked you if they could live with you, how many of you would say “I’m very sorry but this really isn’t the right time” or “you know there is a Salvation Army down the road that does this sort of thing.” She had the chance to say those things and put the boy into a dangerous situation but instead she lived her life like Jesus and accepted the boy with no hesitation because that is the kind of servant she is. There are plenty of other stories just as powerful that were told but there is not enough time to write them all, you will have to ask your children about those stories because I am sure that they will be more than happy to share them with you like I am. She is wonderful living story of the power of God in the lives of people who follow his callings for them. I challenge all the people who read this to ask your self a very simple question, would you take in that boy and show him God’s love? Or would you say, “sorry God but this just is not for me, maybe someone else but not me.” Mission’s trips are not only for the students but the people the team members interact with everyday. If God is pulling on your heart in a specific direction I encourage you to follow through with what he is telling you and bless so many people through Him. Please keep us in your prayers the rest of the week. Thank you and we all look forward to seeing all of you soon.