Its been a wild and crazy seven days.
It started last week Thursday when I was picking up students at Kent Hills elementary, for New City Afterschool. As I was backing into my parking space, a guy tried to beat me to it and rear ended the New City van. I jumped out and so did he. The guy immediately stated there was no damage and no need to call the police. The van was fine, his car had a hole in its bumper, but there was “no damage.”
Friday we had a car pull up to the community garden. The passenger staggered out of the car and proceeded to pee all over the flowers by the garden sign.
Tuesday a car pulled up the community garden and a man got out while talking on his phone. He reached into his car, grabbed two young cats and put them in the garden. He then drove away. For 48 hours our farm had cats, which I guess makes it a real farm. The cats have since been taken to a farm in the country.
These three extreme examples of weird give you a taste of how ministry has been over the last two weeks.
As I walk to and from the office every day, there is part of me wondering what is going on in the neighborhood.
The truth is, I really believe there is a spiritual battle happening in this community every day. To a large degree, it seems to have intensified in the last two weeks. I really believe that sin and satan are working overtime to derail New City Afterschool, and the greater work we’re trying to do in the community.
I’ve seen kids I’ve known for years make crazy choices. I’ve seen lies and rumors ruin relationships. I’ve seen jealousy tear people apart. I’ve seen kids settle for ugly friendships rather than grab hold of something better. Even this morning I woke up to a text that in many ways broke my heart.
In the midst of all the ugliness I am again reminded of the need for ministries like New City Afterschool. Kids need a safe and quiet place to get their homework done. Kids need a loving place to belong. Kids need to encounter Jesus and his passionate love for them. Kids need to investigate what they are good at and latch on to those passions. Kids need to see that there is a much greater purpose in life. This is what we’re doing at New City Afterschool.
As we’ve worked with students the last two weeks I’ve witnessed the attacks of sin, but I’ve also seen the victories in Jesus.
We have a middle school student, who for the sake of this blog post I’ll refer to as Jacob. Jacob has been a part of our ministries for years, and has generally been a pretty amazing kid. As he entered middle school two years ago I saw him succumb to peer pressure and make some poor choices. This year though, he arrive at New City Afterschool with a strong desire to lead. He wants to help us impact the lives of younger students. Each day he tutors the younger students, helps with activities, and is showing amazing signs of leadership.
Just yesterday, during our soccer club, two of his friends were behaving poorly. As those two boys did everything they could to cause trouble, Jacob stayed in the game. He ignored their bad behavior, refused to join them when they pestered him, and proved his desire to lead by telling them to stop.
God is working in Jacob! Through New City Afterschool, Jacob is finding his purpose in life, and making much better choices. He is helping other people, learning about Jesus, and has huge potential for future leadership development. Whenever I see Jacob working with younger kids, and leading his peers, I see God working to make the ministry and this community better.
As we continue to work with students like Jacob, and struggle with students who embrace sin, we covet your prayers. We need you to lift of the ministries of New City Neighbors every day. We need you to pray against the assault of sin. We need you to pray for radical heart transformation. We need you to pray that students would all discover who Jesus is, and that He has a grand purpose for their lives.
Pray that God would move powerfully in the weeks ahead!