Today was actually our first day doing outreach with the Dream Center. We started the morning off by going over to Angelus Temple for prayer ministry. Angelus Temple is the church that the dream center is partnered with. This is where all staff and students go to church on Sunday mornings. There is a lot more to it but for times sake it is an affiliate church of the Dream Center.
From what I could gather this ministry use to look a lot different than it does now but for us, we had about an hour and a half to go into the temple and pray. This is something that is offered throughout the week to different teams but I’m glad that we had the opportunity for this to be our first time slot. There is a lot that happened in this hour and a half that was very personal but I will share what He began speaking to me about my time in LA.
The Lord kept reminding me of something that He revealed to me as we drove through skid row the other night. It was that many of the people that we may minister to in this city may not have an ear to hear what we are saying. Whether or not they have been completely shut off to talk of religion due to hurts and wounds inflicted by the church or just a mentality that has been stifled by drugs or past experiences, many of these people aren’t going to be open to hearing what we have to say. Many of them won’t have the ability to comprehend the things that we talk of or who we are and what we are doing in the streets of LA.
As He kept reminding me of this reality and kept revealing to me this mentality I just began to declare that ears would be opened to those that we encounter. That the ones who are here this week will be successful in sharing the gospel where they go. I have actually had a lot of members at the Dream Center tell me that I shouldn’t expect certain reactions and I shouldn’t be let down if the gospel isn’t received the way that I hope. I understand that. But I won’t accept that as “just the way it is.” As I began to declare this opening of deaf ears, I felt the lord giving more and more compassion for the ones in this city who don’t know Him. I believe He is opening up the ears before me so His love and His word will be received.
I have looked at this mission trip as somewhat of a prophetic act in regards to what God is preparing me for in the city of Augusta. I believe that He is activating me here for the ministry that He is calling me to in Augusta. What I see happen through me here is what will happen through me when I get back home. It’s a big dream and to some it may seem realistic. And some may think I’m being overzealous. But I haven’t prayed, fasted and come all of this way to settle for second best to what God is going to activate within me.
He also began to reveal some things to me about some people He wants me to intercede for on a consistent basis and also some things for my family, present and future. But like I said a lot of that is very personal:) sorry guys. It was a much needed time of soaking in His presence. I believe the Lord designed that specifically for me because He knew I wouldn’t be able to minister in this city without seeking Him first thing and without seeking freedom from a couple of things that I received some freedom from this morning.
This afternoon we were able to go into one of the neighborhoods and participate in their Adopt-A-Block program. This is a really great opportunity to be the hands and the feet of Jesus in a very intentional way. It’s a very relational ministry.
We left with one of the Student Leaders in our car and we were able to talk about what to expect when we got there and what the purpose of Adopt-A-Block was. A couple of things that they do on a regular basis is a food truck. They take truckloads of food to these areas and they begin passing out food to those who need it. This is actually a common thing for food ministry but I feel like this particular system takes it a little further. I volunteered at a food bank for almost 2 years but it was more of a “come and get it” system. If you could find a way to come get it it was yours. With Adopt-A-Block they bring it right to you.
They will even offer to bring your food to your door if you cant make it over to the truck location for some reason. We ended up taking a couple of boxes over to a lady this afternoon who has a disabled son and is unable to really leave him. It’s just an extra mile that I haven’t really seen before.
They even go around the neighborhoods picking up trash and cleaning up the area the best they can. A lot of these areas have broken glass and heroin needles laying all over the place so it’s a lot different than just picking up trash on the side of the road.
We didn’t do this today but the students and volunteers even spend time canvassing from door to door. This process simply looks like going from door to door and politely asking if there is anything the Dream Center could do for the family. This ministry is all about doing whatever needs to be done. They find a way to do it!
The best thing about this ministry is the relational aspect. Relationship is a process. It always has been and it always will be. The intent for relationship was evident in this group. The residents of this community lit up when they saw us all pull up. Not so much because of the food they were getting or anything like that but because they knew these students genuinely cared for them.
We got the chance to walk around to some of the families that they have been able to minister to and develop really good relationships with. As we talked it was apparent that these DCLS Students have become like family to some of these families. As we talked needs would arise in conversation from surgeries to healings to wayward children. It just gave us an opportunity to pray and agree with them that the Lord was going to take care of the situations in their lives.
The area that we were in was somewhat rough. Im not sure what all goes on within these households but a member of one of these families was smoking a blunt as we were talking and praying in front of their doorstep. I loved it. We can’t just back away from people because they do things that we don’t agree with. Some of these people are the ones who need to see the love of Jesus the most.
As I think about the things that I saw today and the interactions and tangible relational ministry I saw I can’t help but wonder how God is wanting me to use these things back home. I have dreams in my heart and things that I want to see happen in my city so I am constantly thinking about and listening to the Lord to hear how He is wanting these things to unfold. I actually have a desire to do more street evangelism and let God use me to operate a healthy and life altering bar ministry. I just cant help but think that a lot of what I saw today is what it looks like to do these things well. Prayer. Consistency. Relationship. Real relationship. Stand on your doorstep and pray with you while you smoke a blunt relationship. That’s what revival in America looks like.
I’m just praying for more compassion and more Holy Spirit intercession. I believe that those two things will lead to transformation in the lives of the people that we are ministering to this week and also the people that need the Lord back home.
I’m so overwhelmed because even though I’m helping to make a difference here in LA this week, Augusta is the main objective. Augusta is what the Lord has placed on my heart and it’s Augusta that will see the fruit of what is being rattled in my heart during this 10 day span.
So much good stuff has come forth so far and we aren’t even half way through the week:)
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