Friday, July 18, 2008

Continuing to serve in the midst of conflict and negativity

Over the past couple of weeks I have been posting updates about our new Feed a Kid minstry, which Missing Link Street Ministries and the CORE Church of Troy are co-sponsoring.

This past Monday we began serving evening meals to neighborhood children from the CORE Church ministry lot. Many people from the community have volunteered to serve with us and have told us what a great service this is. However, we have met with some conflict amongst certain community leaders who want us to "bring it indoors." What we have demonstrated to the community is the need for such a ministry, as many children have been fed. Many of these same community leaders have been scratching their heads for months, even years, as they have tried to come up with ways to address the unmet needs within this community. What we have heard, over and over, is the need for something for the kids to do with all of their spare time, instead of hanging out on the streets and creating mischief.

Wednesday's attendance was quite a bit more than Monday's. There are some people within this community who just don't believe there are children going to bed each night without having supper, or at least a very inadequate supper. One family, with five young children, shared with me that if it had not been for Feed a Kid they would have had to feed their children cold cereal and milk for dinner because they were a little short on finances, and the food they had gotten from the food pantry had been used. They don't receive food stamps or public assistance because the dad works a full time job and makes too much money to qualify. By providing meals like this for the kids in our community we are helping families stretch their food budget. With the cost of everything from gas, to produce, meat and groceries going up, how will struggling families make ends meet? That is the purpose of this ministry; to serve children and families and provide for the physical needs, while building bridges for the gospel.

The same folks who said, "Do something for the youth" are now saying, "bring it indoors." Why are they saying this? Could it be that they don't want to admit that the problems in our community are bigger than they realized? or perhaps it is because they are too busy with their own lives and don't have time to join in this effort?

The real reason is because this is a Christ-centered effort. Our goal and our purpose in all of this is to lift up Jesus Christ and to make His name known in the lives of the people who are struggling and hurting. There are spiritual forces at work that we cannot see with the naked eye, yet the Holy Spirit reveals to us; they are both heavenly and demonic. Satan would like nothing better than to get his foot in the door of this ministry effort and destroy it. However, heaven's armies are watching over us. God's will shall prevail, and as long as we continue to keep our eyes and our minds fixed on Him, nothing will keep us from succeeding in our mission.

Feeding hungry children is the beginning of a community in transition. Are the community leaders who are busy criticizing and pointing fingers prepared for what God will do in this community? If Jesus Himself came down from heaven, would they fall to their knees in worship, or would they find fault with that too? Rest assured, He is coming back, and very soon. The Bible says, "Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God in heaven." (Phil.2:10-11)

In the mean time, we will continue to press on in this mission of making Christ known in the heart of our community.