Monday, July 21, 2008

A Summer Vacation

I saw Jesus in a small, dank little church in Southwest Detroit. It was very hot and humid, the sweat puring onto our eyes making it hard to see. I have a lot of respect for those that travel to far away places as missionaries. I think it is noble, effective, and rewarding. But there are many who cannot make the trip for whatever reason. We volunteered at a church just 10 minutes from where I sleep at night in Mexican Town. It was a Spanish speaking Latino church sitting on the middle of a run down, boarded up, and burnt down neighborhood. The place smelled like a church basement during a rummage sale, it sounded like a bi-lingual DMV on a Tuesday morning, and it was full of children. We got the privilege of helping this church organize and put on it's Vacation Bible School. The building was given to the pastor and pastors wife, both doctors. It is the kind of church that major institutions are glad are there, but will help from afar, as the Methodist Church does. It is funny because if you stepped into this place, you would swear you were on a mission trip in another country only 10 minutes from your house, like when Dorothy opened the door after the tornado to find Oz. Except the opposite of all the gold and splendor. Instead you leave the gold and splendor to open the door to reality that we try fairly hard to forget exists. I don't know how much we actually helped the kids there, but I know we fell in love with them, and I know we were effected. We did see Jesus. Not in a painting, not a historical or allegorical way, but in a real, practical way. We saw Jesus the way, He was always intended to be seen. We saw Him in the face of those that need love. It really reminds me what a jerk I can be. I think sometimes I am doing well, sitting here writing about what Jesus wants and who He is to me, but doing it from my couch in the burbs, when Jesus is 10 minutes from me, in an abandoned house burnt to the ground. I think too much of the country makes this mistake too. We talk and talk and talk, and a lot of good things come out of our mouths, but how much comes out of our lives. I find myself trying to lie to myself and say I am making my difference and doing my part. But we know when a lie is a lie, we just try to mask the lie, clean it up and make it look more believable. If you do ever make it to Detroit, let me know I will direct you to Jesus. Better yet, mapquest your ghetto by you. Find out some things you can do, and go. Jesus will be there too.


  1. Zombie

    What a great post. Our Lord blessed you allowing you to see him in the face of those children. You are on to something, the needy adults and children are where you will find Christ. It is so sad the richest country in the world as far as material things and we can not even take care of everyone here. Mother Theresa said this was the most spiritually dead country she had ever seen, I think she could be right. It is the only explanation for us to have poor people in this country. May Jesus continue to bless you and allow you to see what most people refuse to see.


  2. I was there only one day, and I agree 200% with you. I have been pretty depressed lately and I thought it was cuz of being alone and my whole situation in general, but I have begun to believe it maybe because I am not doing what I should be for Jesus. Helping out last Wednesday helped me see that a even more. I'm glad the week blessed you and thanks for the chance to help bro. See you soon!

  3. Adam,

    As I have said before, and can not help repeating:

    You are authentic!!! In my Church, they tell us that one is closest to Lord when carrying the Cross. Your life past and present has given you so much wisdom and you are blessed with so much grace for someone so young.

    This confirms to me that it IS the cross which brings us to Jesus. Those children are carrying their crosses too. God Bless them all, and Bless you and your family for helping them and inspiring others to do the same.

    Thank you again for your words. They always inspire me with the truths that you speak of, and I personally can relate to so much of what you say.

    You did see Jesus that day. And it is easy for those of us who read your words to know that He see's you too.

    Peace be with you always.

  4. My husband and I have been in the inner city mission field for 13 years. If a missionary is "one who is sent," then we too should be able to get ourselves out to these areas where so often "Hope deferred makes the heart sick...." But "when dreams come true there is life and joy." Proverbs 13:12 Right in our own backyard (usually in my experience within 10-20 minutes of home.) is a whole world in need of love that moves to action. We can see Christ in the faces of this missions field.

    “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

    It doesn't read the local church OR the ends of the earth. The word is AND. You are right if we could all just bring ourselves to accept the AND then all the world would really know that when we reach out with the heart of Christ we will see genuine transformation.

    Thanks so much for seeing the world through the eyes that my husband and I have for the last 13 years...