Sunday, April 20, 2008

Recap from the living room

Okay, we didn't have outreach on Saturday because all our guys were attending HPC's inaugural Men's Conference, so why do I feel even more wiped out than usual? I'm sitting in my living room and I'm having trouble staying awake to watch the hockey game on TV. It's a playoff game between the Stars and the Ducks...and I'm from CANADA!!! Falling asleep during a playoff game is a punishable offense where I come from. (Don't tell any other canucks that I dozed off.)
In my defence, it's been a big week. Miss Alliece preached an awesome word Friday morning at Ladies Thrive. It's tough to stay composed when so many of the women around you are wiping away tears. Then I had the privilege of speaking on a panel at New Beginnings on Friday night. Since all the fellas were at the conference we did an open-forum deal where women could ask us anything they wanted. It was pretty cool; a little intimidating, but pretty cool.
I went to church Saturday night and Sunday morning; two awesome speakers with really on-time messages. I think it's great that within 16 hours I heard from a Ukrainian and an Australian pastor, both live right here in Baton Rouge. Pastor Dino has the coolest friends!
Tonight we had a meeting at Winbourne for our core team at the Dream Center. We're launching our church service next Sunday at noon so we're prepping for the big day. It's always exciting to be part of something new, but it is such a privilege to get to serve with such a fine bunch of individuals. I believe God is getting ready to do something BIG in north Baton Rouge. My plan is this: show up, strap in and watch God be Almighty God. It's gonna be awesome!!!
All glory to Him.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Record-setting Midnight

We did Midnight Outreach Friday night and we made it back home in record time. That's both good and bad. It's good in that our team of volunteers (who by any standards work well beyond a normal week) got to be home and in bed before Cinderella lost her slipper. The down side though, is that the reason we were finished so quickly is because we saw so many girls.
We usually start out with 8 dozen roses and about a dozen boxes of chocolate. The roses are for the ladies working inside the clubs and the chocolate is for the bouncers who look out for the ladies. We started out at Escapades and then went to Kittens. Typically we would hand out somewhere between 20-30 roses between the 2 clubs. Last night we distributed close to 50. I don't know why there were so many women in the clubs, but I do know they were happy to see us. One of the dancers asked a volunteer, "Hey, are y'all that church from down the road, right there on Highland?" The volunteers smiled and nodded. The dancer continued, "I love that place. You guys are so good to us". I don't know if she's ever been to HPC, but I think she would consider it. She smelled her rose and smiled at us. Pretty cool, eh?
In less than 40 minutes we found almost 100 women who are in or around the sex trade, all within 15 minutes of the doors of our church. I love that our pastors send us out to find them instead of just hoping they eventually come to us. Some of these ladies don't have 'eventually'; their lifestyle doesn't allow it. I'm grateful that HPC is a church that builds for tomorrow but offers hope today...that we get to reach the world by serving one. All glory to God!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Your spot

On Saturday we did a training session for some of our volunteers that help us out at the Baton Rouge Dream Center. It was a bit of a long day, starting at 8am and finishing up around 2pm, but it felt good. Miss Alliece did an awesome teaching about puzzle pieces; how each of us have a specific place that we fit into the grand scheme of things. I sometimes forget that. I forget that I can't fit into an open space just because I want to, or just because there is a need. I can only fit where God shaped me to fit. And it's important that I get into my spot. Not everybody is shaped like me. Oddly enough, not everyone feels comfortable strolling the streets of North Baton Rouge hoping to run into people who are frying their brains with crack or trading their bodies for a 3-piece chicken dinner. Not everyone is excited about praying for people who have more of the devil in them than they can hide. But, that's my spot.
Throughout the day I gained a better understanding of some of the people I've been serving with. We had about 30 people come out for our training; some of them regulars and some new ones. It was cool getting to know them a little better. Even though I see many of them every week, it's usually a zero-sixty pace. We don't usually sit around together and share lunch, but Saturday we did. Like I said, it was cool.
After a couple hours of teaching we separated into teams for outreach. Some people hit the streets with gloves and trash bags for adopt-a-block, others took food to the river bank, and the rest of us stayed at the warehouse and sorted boxes for future outreaches. Our warehouse team was kickin! The amount they sorted in 90 minutes would have taken our regular 3-man team several days. Kudos to them.
After outreach we moved over to Winbourne for lunch, more teaching and a facility tour. It surprised me how many of our team didn't have a clear picture of our vision for the Dream Center. By the end of turbo training it seemed like they not only had the vision; they were infected with it. I love seeing people catch Dream Center fever.
If you're not already a regular, come hang with us on a Saturday morning. We meet at Roselawn every week at 10am. Who knows, you might end up finding your spot. See you then!