If you think inner city ministry is for you then I hope you will read the following letter:
Dear Christian Friend,
Just this week I was out in a neighborhood at night visiting a young man to whom we’ve been preaching Christ for over two years. It was the kind of neighborhood that most would not venture into especially at night. Despite the fact that it was a school night, this young man had to wade through a crowd of adults to come see me on the porch. They were there drinking and partying with his mother. This young boy’s life is one of constant turmoil and survival. He is in fact not even supposed to be living with his mother but the aunt to whom he has been given is becoming too old to take care of him and his mother has taken him back in despite the order by DSS that he is not to be with her. He is constantly afraid of this being discovered and having to leave his mother and brothers to go to a foster home. Yet to live with his mother constantly exposes him to gangs, drugs, sex, violence, and all manner of wickedness.
Lest you think this is easily solvable (just turn this into the authorities and have him removed), may I challenge you to realize that this story is repeated hundreds even thousands of times over just in our small city? There is a shortage of qualified caretakers and “qualified” unfortunately just means financially qualified so that those who do take these kids are often no better equipped spiritually to raise them than the mothers from which they were taken.
I look at these kids and even their parents (usually a mother) as very much like the man who was headed down to Jericho in Luke 10 and was robbed and beaten by thieves and left on the side of the road for dead. This young man and the hundreds or even thousands in our city that he represents have been robbed and beaten by the thieves of the welfare system, the public school system, the false religious system, and have been left for dead.
The religious men who can’t see their own sinful heart because they have been blinded by their riches continue to pass by the other side. Sometimes they salve their consciences by throwing money at food pantries, soup kitchens, or by donating their clothes to Goodwill.
The situation however is deadly and urgent and without individual believers taking the time to stop and attend personally to each dying neighbor with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to put the dying man on their “own beast” (Luke 10) and to personally attend to the healing of the dying ones, we will continue to see them die lost and without hope.
There have been times that we were able to take many of these kids to the Wilds Christian Camp in Brevard, NC. I grew up going to this camp and have seen their servants heart,(AFF Link) gospel centered purpose, and love join together with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to bring new life into the life of many children, teens, and adults throughout the years. The Wilds was a place where God worked in my own life to make me more serious about serving Him with my life.
Can you imagine the bliss for these kids that it is to have an entire week of being surrounded by clean fun, good food, all while being taught and shown the love of Christ through preaching, singing, and trained counselors? Contrast this with what a normal week is like in their homes and I think you will see that it is worth it to pay whatever cost to give them this opportunity to have the Holy Spirit work in their hearts with an entire week of protected fun and teaching.
Please pray for these children and for this ministry. May the Lord Jesus Christ perform the same miracle in their hearts has He has done in ours. Pray that the Lord will send forth laborers for the time is short.
Read an interview with the one who started this ministry.