26 May 2011

Hope for Louisville: Unplanned Return

The fourth day of my second summer as a member of the Hope for Louisville team...I did not think, a year ago, that I would once again participate in training and be preparing to serve in Louisville. Truth is, God always knew. When I take time to consider how He prepared me for last summer, and will not leave me unprepared this summer, I am amazed. Unplanned by human eyes does not mean unprepared. I recognize that this summer will be difficult. At times, I will be in tears due to exhaustion, frustration, or sorrow. At other times, it will be more evident that the team's toil is not in vain. I trust that our Lord knows what He is doing, and that He will sustain.

The formal training for the ‘new’ Hope team is nearly complete–with training has come many moments of questioning my reasons for being in Louisville. At first, I was struck once again by the commitment required for this summer. And the Louisville heat. And the stretching of resources. And the struggles of living in community. And the apparent lack of women to whom the women’s team can minister. But let me tell you what God is showing me….

I am in Louisville because of God’s love for me, and His love for the people of Louisville. The brokenness I see around me is the human condition without Christ. I, too, am part of this brokenness (this is part of the ‘already but not yet’ of the Apostle Paul). My neighbor here in Louisville needs to know Christ’s love. How better to show her but by being here, again, for the second summer in a row, and explaining why I do so? And if there are no women to whom we can minister at the shelter…perhaps our purpose lies in finding women in the community and telling them of what JSBC has to offer. Perhaps our purpose lies in supporting the men’s team. Perhaps our purpose lies in exhorting one another to love and good works, knowing that although this summer may be more planning and less action (in a sense), we are where God would have us. Let us keep diligently seeking His counsel and revealed will in Scripture, that we may press on to know the Lord.

I am in Louisville because, as of yet, not everyone is a worshiper of the Creator of the universe. I am in Louisville because, in the days of Adam and Eve, the human race began to rebel against a holy God. Our foolish hearts were darkened, and yet, God demonstrates his own love toward us in this–in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. In His death, taking the penalty of our sin upon Himself for everyone who believes, we are made dead to our sin. And in His resurrection, we too are raised to newness of life, that we may live for Him. Glory be to our great God! This is why I am in Louisville.

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