Thursday, July 23, 2009

TRIPLE C heading to 'The Bridge' with Mission:USA in Chicago!

First, a couple of service projects at a half-way house and an inner city church:

Welcoming folks to The Bridge:

Getting ready to serve food after The Bridge:

Hanging with our missionary, Jed!

Pumped after The Bridge:

It Only Makes Sense

I feel like I watched the kingdom happening yesterday. I feel like I was privileged enough to catch glimpses of what it’s going to be like when Jesus comes back and we all go to be with Him. I watched a bunch of white kids from Tennessee praising God alongside ex-cons and former gang members from inner city Chicago. I saw high school and college kids face and conquer their fears… they were frightened to sit down, talk to and love on someone they had never met, but they totally did it! I watched my friends lay their lives down all day long, serving and working for their brothers and sisters in Christ out of their love for Jesus. I saw men and women of God, and they’re barely old enough to vote. They were more selfless, loving and brave than even they themselves ever thought possible and it was amazing.

Tom and I brought thirteen high school and college kids from Oak Ridge Tennessee to Chicago to serve alongside the superstars of Mission:USA and help them reach out to ex-offenders and former gang members in their weekly meeting known as “The Bridge.” For weeks before we made the long drive from our cozy and quiet, rolling Tennessee hills to the speed and noise of the city we have been preparing for this. We read and memorized Paul’s words in Romans 12 and talked about how we were made for sacrificial service. In verse 1 Paul says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” We talked about how that word translated ‘spiritual’ really means ‘reasonable’ or literally, ‘logical.’ In view of the mercy God had on you when you didn’t deserve it by Jesus laying down His life as a sacrifice, it’s only logical that you lay down your life. It only makes sense…

From the time our kids woke up on Tuesday until deep into the night, they laid down their lives. They went through training in order to better understand the hearts and minds of the folks at The Bridge and how much we’re like them. They worked hard in the hot sun to renovate an up and coming halfway house and the courtyard of a local church. They greeted, worshiped with, served food to and then cleaned up after the folks at The Bridge. They didn’t get to eat any food themselves until way later and they never complained. They simply offered their bodies as living sacrifices, serving, loving and listening to brothers and sisters they had never met and being the family of God.

They were kind and humble, seeing themselves in the folks at The Bridge and even saying as one of our girls did about a man she met there, “He showed me that what I believe is real and powerful. I want to be like him when I grow up.” One of our guys said, “It was incredible, knowing that we busted it from 9AM to 11PM and I didn’t think about myself once.” One girl said, “I did what my heart and hands were made for.” That’s it! Right there! We were made for this and in view of the mercy He’s had on us, it’s only logical for us to lay our lives down and the thing we find is that when we do this, it’s the thing our hearts wanted the most to do and to be; and even though it might come as a bit of a surprise, we find that it only makes sense.

To learn more about The Bridge and Mission:USA, check out their website by clicking here.

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