Saturday, April 30, 2011

Encounter-ing Downtown

Minneapolis. A city of business, where people come and go from their jobs. During day, it is just like any other city. There's a baseball field, a lightrail station, and a Macy's as well as a variety of other stores.

During night however, it becomes a haven for drugs, alcohol, and God knows what else. There are strip clubs, gay clubs, and bars left and right in some parts of downtown. There are many drunk people, as well as those who are high on marujana and you know because you can smell it from ten feet away.

These people are crying out for fulfilment, and are looking to these things that Satan uses to steal kill and destroy them in order to find that.

These people are desperate. They are crying.

And Reach Out Minneappolis is answering that cry.

Every Friday in Minneapolis a bunch of us get together for prayer and then we hit the streets.

I will never forget during prayer one night the Lord dealt with me to bring a book called Healed of Cancer by Dodie Osteen. I almost didn't bring it because I was sure I had made it all up in my head. But I went ahead and brought the book figuring it couldn't hurt. Then my roommate and I went to meet everyone else downstairs, and the group of about thirty headed to the lightrail. Our plan since it was so cold was to ride the lightrail to Block E and Hennipen, but when the lightrail came when only half of us had bought our tickets the other half got left behind. I was in the half that was left behind. :/ Anyway, we waited but then we found out that the next one wasn't coming until 1:30--when we had agreed to meet at Club 3 Degrees. So despite the cold we took the walk.

We arrived at 12:45am. We had about 45 minutes to talk to people, which really in street evangelism is not much time at all. We circled the block a few times but wasn't able to talk to anyone. Until...

We were about to cross the street and a couple of us in my group noticed a couple standing off to one side, and the woman was digging through her purse. Motioning to the other two in my group to follow, I said, "Ma'am can we help you?"

She had a few choice words."_____ can't find my ____ cell phone."

So my roommate who was in my group let her friend use her cell phone and while he was on the phone, we got to talk with her. We asked her if there was anything she needed prayer about and she told us that her dad died I think two years ago, and she was still grieving. Also, she said her mother had brain tumors. When she said that, the Holy Spirit seemed to say, "That's your cue." So I reached into my jacket and gave her the book. She was so emotional and crying; she gave us all hugs. We left knowing that she had had an Encounter with the Almighty, and hopefully her persepective on life was changing even as we walked away to meet the rest of our group.

Nothing gives me more joy than to know that God was able to use me and others to touch someone else for His glory. Sometimes, all it takes for someone to come to the Kingdom is understanding the goodness of God.

Even though there still remains a dark cloud over that part of the city, there are people like us, who go out there and poke holes in that cloud to let God's light shine through.

I can't think of anything else I'd rather do with my life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Possible Double-Major?

Hey y'all,

So recently the Lord has led me to Evangelism and Church Planting as the ministry that He wants me involved in. I would love to do that as my major with a Deaf Culture Studies Supporting Program or the other way around. This fall, I will be taking Biblical Principles of Evangelism to get my feet in the water.

As for Interpreting, well I'm just not sure. Interpreters are in high demand these days thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act. As much as I would love to focus on just the Evangelism and Church Planting part of the Deaf community, people are telling me that it's important to have a "marketable skill," especially in the economy we're in. I completely understand this, but understand, ministry has been my passion from the beginning. Not Interpreting.

So yes, I am torn. Torn between the thing I love the most and the secular job that I respect the most. Thankfully, my parents are supportive of whatever I decide to do.

I will keep seeking the Lord about this, but for now I will be doing a double-major. However, that means I will be at NCU a total of six years.

As much as I love NCU.....bleh

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A for Attitude

One thing that I sincerely regret not writing about sooner is my attitude adjustment over a month ago.

Well let's start with some facts. I've been at North Central for two years. And up until a month ago, I hated it.

No, I didn't hate North Central. I just hated how far away it is from my family and how dang COLD it is. I hated the person I was because I had allowed myself to lose my joy. I no longer enjoyed life. I HATED getting up every morning for class. I HATED all the homework we are expected to do. Also, it seemed like no matter what the heck I did or said, I ticked someone off!

So my attitude was, well stinky at best. I continually complained and ranted to God for sending me to this frozen wasteland...and for what?

At the same time, however, I was believing for my school bills to be paid. I was also seeking the Lord as to what ministry I would do; I felt like He wanted me to do more than interpreting. Ironic, isn't it? It got to the point where I did not know where my next tuition payment was coming from, and I was as ignorant as ever as to my future ministry.

So yes, I was FURIOUS! I couldn't understand why God had sent me HERE of all places.

Until one day, I heard a story about a pastor/evangelist named Kenneth E. Hagin who lived in the 1930s. He had pastored a Texas church for years; This church in particular took care of him and his family and he poured himself into preaching the Word to them. The perfect congregation for any pastor to have.

But the Lord nudged him one day and said, "Go out and be an evangelist." So he packed up his family, said goodby to the congregation and started preaching wherever the Lord led them.

However, they were behind every month financially. It progressed and kept getting worse and worse.

Knowing that something had to be done and fast, Brother Hagin started having more alone time with God than he ever had before. He opened his Bible to Isaiah 1:18 which says, "If you are willing and obedient you will eat the good of the land." Brother Hagin read that Scripture several times, and repeatedly told the Lord, "Help me! What am I doing wrong? Why are we not eating the good of the land?"

Finally, he just said nothing and waited on the Lord; his patience was rewarded. The Lord spoke to him and said these words:

Well the problem is, you don't qualify.

Yes, he had been obedient in going out to evangelize and preach the gospel...but he hadn't been willing. Immediately, he made an attitude change and from then on, the Lord brought them through victorious!

When I heard this story, the Holy Spirit said to me, You don't qualify either.

That scared me so badly! I immediately repented and surrendered my frustrations, and my desire to be back at home. I told Him that I would stay in Minneapolis for as long as He wanted me and do whatever He wanted me to do.

Since then, I've had so much peace! I have my joy back! I LOVE Minnesota! And He has also revealed to me the ministry I will be undertaking in addition to Interpreting: Evangelism and Church Planting. I am so excited at what God will do in years to come in me and through me!

To God be all the glory!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Steps to Beauty and ICCM

This was it. This was the weekend we had been waiting for.

Steps to Beauty, the ministry I lead alongside my friend Crystle, was going to Inner City Church of Minneapolis (ICCM) to host a sleepover for the girls in Children's Church!

We had been prepping for weeks and were so pumped. Crystle and I laid out a tentative schedule (that's right, I said TENTATIVE)and together with the rest of the team created the set list. All of the planning Crystle and I had done was leading up to this weekend.

And during said weekend, my faith was tried.

The few days leading up to the sleepover, I spent some extra time in the prayer room. I couldn't have felt closer to God during that time. And before the final meeting before the sleepover, the Lord led me to Matthew 14.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

To me, our team was a lot like Peter. We were stepping onto ground that many of us had never stepped on. We had to have the faith to walk on the water and keep our eyes off of the wind and waves.

This weekend showed me that I need more work on that. I made a ton of mistakes (as my dear friend and former fearless leader Jessica assured me I would)which meant that I had to keep giving the sleepover and the talks and the dances to Him the half the time. The other half was spent praying in tongues.

And you know what? God helped us accomplish what we were there to do! We got to love on these girls, pray over them, and talk to them about their beauty and worth! What could possibly be better than that?

We walk not by what we feel or see, but by faith! It is God who is responsible for watching over His Word to perform it in our lives and in the lives of these girls!

So from here on in, I refuse to look at the wind and the waves an instead, keep my eyes on Jesus till I reach the other side!

Wow...God has taught me so much through student leadership!