So you might have heard of one of my favorite places face of the Earth:
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States of America, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.
Yeah, that place.
I actually began this blog two years ago because the way Jesus turned my life around in this city. During the time spent there, my church and I sang to the homeless, comforted the widows, encouraged the broken, and worshiped Jesus through it all. Here I am, two years later, after a third round with New City Fellowship (find out more about this ministry: http://restorestlouis.org/ and http://newcity.org/southcity/) , and still learning and discovering more about the heart of Christ in every corner. I thank Jesus for every moment that I am blessed to spend with this ministry.
Here are some pictures of our great adventure:
(If you want to hear us singing in the homeless shelter, here’s the link: Singing in the Homelss Shelter)
The growth and expansion of the kingdom that took place during the small amount of six days spent working for Jesus is incredible. And the best part is that our human eyes do not even touch the surface of what Jesus has done with our tiny hands.
Since I learned something new in each moment, it is only right of me to share the simple truths that our Father has taught me.
#1) God is the same for the rich and poor, black and white, young and old— then, now, forever and always.
Seems quite simple… agreed? But this simple, yet profound, truth has been on my heart. We all serve the same God. He is the same God of you, Katie Davis, orphans in Ecuador, homeless, Father Abraham, Mother Mary, Apostle Paul, and every Christian that ever was and is. He is not definitely the God of the rich, and slightly of the poor. Or wholly the God of the Americans, and partially the God of the Africans. No, this is not our Jesus. Our Jesus is wholly the God of all people— black as night, white as rice, young as babes, old as time. He is the same God then, now, forever and always.
For the Lord is good; His loving-kindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness is the same to all generations. – Psalm 100:5
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. – John 12:10
He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God. – Joshua 4:24
#2) We are not adequate.
Every night during our time at New City, we debriefed the day. There was one particular night when someone mentioned that the work never seemed enough compared to the great need of the city. While we were doing much work, the need was often overwhelming.
Then, we realized something—- we cannot change the world. We are not adequate. We are not equipped. We are not prepared. We never will be.
But Jesus is.
He is beyond adequate. His glory is beyond the replacement of ringworm-infested hardwood floors. His love reaches further than the bandaging of rotting mortar between red-clay bricks. His grace is greater than twenty garbage bags stuffed with leaves and sticks. We are only called to love in the name of Jesus, and He will touch places that our eyes might never see. Christ will change situations; Christ will change hearts; Christ will change the world.
Behold! I am making all things new. – Revelation 21:5
How great is our God! He is exalted beyond our knowledge. – Job 16:26
We cannot find the Almighty— he is majestic in power and justice, and overflowing with righteousness. – Job 37:23
#3) He loves us.
I say once again— simple, but so true.
This was a sweet reminder from on my friends, who is planning on attending seminary soon. He spoke about the prodigal son. If you do not know the story, or you do but need a refresher of details, here it is:
“There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” – Luke 15: 11-24
This son had completely and directly sinned against his father, and he knew it. But the father, so over-joyed that his son was found, graciously welcomed him back into his home. This is Jesus. He is not condemning us because we have fallen short. Instead, after sinning and rebelling against His perfect love, He is ecstatic to give us abundant grace, mercy, and love. He does not need to love us, but He wants to love us.
And I am so thankful to serve a God of such unfathomable love.