Okay parents, it’s time to let you know about how God is working in your kids. They are all in bed – we are battling a quick onsetting stomach flu (I had it last night for a few hours), yet we are in an incredible spot together as a team.
First off, our team has taken on the tasks that have been given them and worked as though they are working for God. They have finished a lot of ministries earlier than scheduled, which leads us to the events of today. Our first team that we sent out was responsible for food truck ministry. After giving out food, praying for people, and returning to the dream center, the team chose to wash the Dream Center trucks for them. Then, we organized a birthday party for one of the Dream Centre Disciples after completing a ministry with him. God is working through this team in beautiful ways. He’s moving them beyond the ministry and into creating their lives as ministry. Beautiful.
Would like to share a few other moments with you as well. As a dad, I saw my first baby on skid row the other day. He was in a stroller very much like the ones that we see around Sherwood Park. Mom and I were talking, and the father showed up and walked across the street to collect on some unfinished business deal. My heart was broken to watch as baby in stroller was put into the middle of a business deal down on Skid Row. So we continue to pray…
This is the latest update, and one of the most incredible things that has happened to me in my lifetime, and it just happened after church. The circumstances are of God, and nothing else. On Monday, I was walking our kids through Skid Row for the first time, and stopped in front of Midnight Mission (google it) to talk with a homeless person named Reggie. Reggie was incredibly articulate and kind, and led us on a tour through Skid Row, ending up at LAMP (another ministry down there). Reggie and I really hit it off, and he talked to the kids about the realities of skid and the value of their education and having a plan B (a big topic around here). On Wednesday, we returned to Skid Row to serve a meal alongside Volunteers of America and the Dream Center. During that time, I dropped off the kids at the organization and had to go find parking. I found parking two streets over, and was praying that I would run into Reggie (a statistical impossibility given the nature and impermanence of homelessness). I found Reggie on a street as I was running to get change for the parking meter (actually running). We talked and I asked if he would come inside the Volunteers of America for a meal. He agreed, and actually showed up 30 minutes later. Incredible. It was a blessing to see him. During that time, the team met and found an 18 year old kid who was wanting to get off skid row and come to live at the Dream Center. That’s a beautiful story in itself.
This is where it gets crazy. We showed up at the Thursday night church service at Angelus Temple and got called on stage to sing our national anthem. The kids volunteered me to be their lead singer (poor choice) and in the end, your kids sang beautifully. As we were up on stage, we were also on the big screen and we were recognized by everyone in the crowd. Again, this is where the beauty of God comes in. The one person who was there who recognized us was Reggie. He had taken the bus from Skid Row to Angelus, just to talk with us, and see if we could get him in off the street. He came up to me after the service to a huge hug and just wept. After talking to everyone we knew at the Dream Center, we got Reggie an application (all the beds are perpetually full at the Dream Center). Carson and I prayed for Reggie, that he would get in tonight (which is important when you have to return to Skid Row) and as we were literally praying, a bed opened up. At age 64, Reggie is coming in off the streets and entering the Dream Center Discipleship Program. We thank God for this miracle, and we continue to pray that he will seek God and see God.
I can’t tell you enough how much this experience has shaken my faith in such an incredible way. The team here at DC has been talking to Reggie for months, and God used us to allow Reggie to get away from the life at Skid Row.