Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In the streets with Okies

What a week...and it's only Wednesday! We have been hitting the streets hard this week with 2 awesome mission teams on site...much love to Church of the Harvest and World Harvest, both coming in from Oklahoma to serve beside us for a few days. Quick recap thus far:

Monday night: Mark and Kayla Berger led the charge on our outreach in Kerr Park (a local facility in Dixie that would be considered sketchy on a good day). Undeterred by overcast weather or ankle-deep puddles, we served over 100 burgers and 80 hot dogs in about 90 minutes. And since we're the BRDC, we served em up with Cheetos, green beans, Spanish rice and peanut butter crisps. Yep, cause that's just how we roll North-side... no shame and no fear...we will serve anything we can put our hands on in any combination we can fit into a clam shell! And can I tell you, the people loved it.

Tuesday: After hitting Eaton Street with some prep work for our upcoming block party (trash clean up, flyer distribution, making friends with local businesses) we headed over to Prescott/Mohican area to hand out food and invite people to church. In less than an hour we provided snack packs to about a hundred people; over half of them children. They're hungry...for food, for God and for hope. And we were able to feed them, pray for them and let them know they're not forgotten.

Wednesday: I had the privilege of leading devotions with the teams this morning. I looked at the 40 or so kids sitting in that room and I thought 'the future of the church looks good'. These kids are hungry too...for more of God. That's a pretty cool hunger for teenagers to possess.

Tomorrow we'll hit the streets again and expect God to move in a mighty way. I love that God is rocking Baton Rouge and wrecking us for Jesus. I love that my church makes it a priority to feed the poor and invest in the next generation...and I love that God allows me to be a part of it. All glory to Him!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Great guys, great week

I love hanging out at the BRDC! We've had an incredible week, gearing up for incoming mission teams and just doing what we get to do. I started the week by going on the Monday Night Outreach with 2 of the coolest people I know...Mark and Kayla Berger. They're just good folks; love God, love each other, love people. They've been leading this outreach for awhile now but I don't usually attend. I'm so glad I went this week. We went to a park in Dixie where they were having little league b-ball practice inside and a bunch of kids hanging around outside in the play area. We served about 100 plates of chicken pasta in under 30 minutes. They were some seriously hungry kids. Once we ran out of food the volunteers split up; some to the football field, some inside running drills and some of us went door to door. It was slammin! We got to feed people, pray for them and offer the hope of Jesus Christ. It just doesn't get much better.

We've had some guys helping us out at the DC; guys who spend most of their time locked up at a local prison. They've been with us for 2 weeks and today they finished up. Before they left we gathered together at the DOC truck and talked for a few minutes. We told them everything they had been a part of...from preparing for GED classes to getting the church ready for somebody to encounter Jesus. We thanked them for everything they did and then Craig prayed for them. It was really cool. One of the guys said, "If God made people better than you them He kept them for himself". Another inmate said, "On behalf of all the guys I want to thank you. Lots of times we go places and people treat us like prisoners. You treated us like employees, and that something most of us left behind a long time ago. Thank you."
Not much to say after that; just stand there and try not to cry.

So yeah...great guys, great week, great God we serve. I gotta go for now because we have Midnight in a couple hours. I love my life...all glory to God!

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A day at the DC

I am currently sitting in the parking lot at HPC Highland. I wanted to take a moment to share my day with you. A few weeks ago we opened our BRDC Coffee House which is a tool we use to reach out to people in the community. When people call our hotline number we often refer them to the café so they can meet with someone who can talk with them, pray with them and offer some counsel. Sometimes we refer them to other agencies, sometimes we can help them in-house; we just try to help everybody get to whatever their next step might be. We can’t solve all their problems but we can point them to the One who can. Today we had 20 people drop in. I was so stoked! We had everybody from toddlers to the elderly…all gathered together drinking coffee and eating snacks. Thank God for the warehouse!

The twenty people at the café was just the beginning…we also had some other guests up in the house. All this week we have five gentlemen helping us with painting and repair work. We love volunteers and we will put anybody to work that even looks our way. (We truly are shameless about that.) The really cool thing about these guys is that when they’re not with us they’re locked up in prison. They’re with us on work release from Department of Correction and they are some of the sweetest, most genuine guys you will ever meet. One of them has less than a month left before he’s released and will be returning to north Baton Rouge; only a few blocks from the Dream Center. He’s done 11 years. Another gentleman is from New Orleans. He told one of our staff, “Some people lost their house in the storm…I lost my whole city. I don’t know where I’m going back to.” He had a wife and two children but that was 17 years ago; before he got locked up. His kids are grown now and his wife is gone. He’ll be out soon too.

I think it’s so fine that God has strategically placed these guys in our midst. They get to be a part of what God is building at the Dream Center. They get to take ownership; to play a part in the miracle. And while they’re fixing holes and painting walls, another group of volunteers is getting the GED room ready to start classes next week. We have partnered with the Literacy Coalition and will be hosting classes Monday-Thursday every week. I think that will be huge in helping some of our friends and neighbors to get to the next level.

So we’ve got toddlers, prisoners, young people, the elderly, volunteers and the good folks from the Winbourne Baptist Church all rolled up into the mix. I don’t know what God is cooking up but it’s gonna be like nothing we’ve ever tasted before. I can’t wait!!!

All glory to Him!

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