The last 24 hours or God has placed me in the midst of a few exciting ministry opportunities. It doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes God places me in some pretty mundane ministry opportunities.
Every other week I lead a discussion group for people who aren't Christians, but who are curious about finding out more about Jesus. It's a safe environment for non-believers to ask any question they want to and not feel stupid. Last night our group met and we had a God-honoring time together over coffee. An engaged young woman in our group said this week she prayed for the very first time in her life. She said that what she prayed for God answered. It struck me how amazing it is that someone prayed for the very first time to the living God this week...and God listened. I think we oftentimes take for granted these little miracles that take place all of the time...but we miss them.
Then I gave a guy from our group a ride home after our meeting. He's been trying to start over after some major drug history in his past and came out to Colorado to live with his uncle. Several weeks ago I presented the gospel to him and he told me on the car ride home last night he has been thinking a lot about how he wants his life to be and about our earlier conversation about a relationship with God. He is so close to coming into a relationship with God -- I know that because he was the one who told me that! He said that it makes sense in his head, but not yet in his heart. It's so refreshing to see him process the concept of the gospel -- a new concept to him he has never heard before -- with his eyes lighting up. The gospel truly is good news that changes lives...and its about to change Paul's.
I got a call from Johnny again this morning (read previous post below for context) trying to make rent at a cheap motel as he is trying to make ends meet in his new job as a landscaper. He couldn't make rent today so he asked if I could provide him a loan. Andrew and I drove down during our lunch hour to a little seedy run-down motel in the southern part of the city. On our way down we stopped at McDonalds and bought eight double cheeseburgers and four things of fries for them. We showed up and walked into the dirty, smoke-filled motel room. I met his "roommates," Bill and Mike and his girlfriend April. April was laying on the bed strung out on cocaine and meth. My heart broke. When we handed them the McDonald's bag their eyes lit up. They were hungry.
Then Johnny, Andrew and I went to the front desk to see the motel manager and we paid for his rent. He agreed to pay back the loan in the next few weeks. Who knows: I may just be getting snookered out of some money. But I guess I would rather get snookered by being naive and generous than being a tight wad because of my cynicism. Johnny told me again how much he enjoyed Pierced and asked if he could come to Pierced again and bring more of his homeless friends this weekend.
I think God is beginning to teach me more of what missional living looks like in our city -- and I'm not learning it by reading some book either. Who knows what God might bring my way in the next 24 hours...