He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Common Ground Weekly Update-July 21,2009

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” 1 Cor 3:6
Deliverance from the power of sin and a life of prostitution….

I came home one day and she was sitting on my porch. She was high, struggling to put sentences together, and hungry. She told me that another prostitute told her that we would give her something to eat. I noticed her walking the streets all day and night ‘working’ over the previous weeks. I had taken some food out to her friend one night while she was working the corner down the block from our house. We talked for a while, I told her who I was, and why I thought God would have me bring her the food. We had talked a few more times and she said ‘hi’ while passing the house on the way to ‘work’ a few times. That was the extent of our interactions, so it caught me off guard when her friend showed up on our porch. She came in a nd we fed her. This began a few weeks of her showing up, eating, and talking. She refused our efforts and trying to get her to a shelter and rehab, and most of our attempts at help. But, she kept coming by. Delta and I tried to treat her with dignity and respect. She was honest about the prostitution, the rapes and beatings she endured regularly, and the drug addiction. We talked with her about who God has designed her to be and about his love for her. Most of the time, she was too high, I suspected, to comprehend what we were saying. One day she just disappeared. I honestly wondered if she had been murdered. The other day she showed up on our doorstep again. It had been six months since we saw her last. She was in jail for that period. She was an entirely different person. She told Delta that she had gotten out of jail that day and made her mom drive her straight over to our house. Being out from under the power of drugs has changed her whole personality. She said she had received Christ while in jail, and that she felt like her life was in His hands now. She just had to come by and tell us what God had done for her and wanted to say ‘thank you’. She wanted us to pray for her and know that what we did for her mattered. Delta said that she had a deep confidence that “the Lord will provide a job” so she could take care of herself and her son. She has a hard road ahead of her now for sure, but it is a powerful thing to see that Kingdom of God show up in and through her. Redemption is a beautiful thing.
Tragedy strikes again...

One of the boys attending our camp last week lost his mother and aunt in the city’s latest double murder. He is 11 years old. His uncle was in the car when the women were ambushed on the edge of our neighborhood. His uncle was shot multiple times, but lived. The uncle is also the stepfather of a 5th grader that has been faithfully involved with our tutoring and bible studies over the last year. Please pray for this family and for us as we seek to minister to them. After the man was released from the hospital, he and some of the kids came over to Kevin and Nicole’s house for prayer. They have a long road ahead. Eight children have lost their mother between the two murders. They really don’t know what to do with the children who have lost their mother. Please pray with us as we seek the Lord’s face as to how He would have us to love them.

Summer Camp…

We have just begun week 7 of our summer camp. This week the 70-80 kids are participating in a backyard bible club at Washington Park in the mornings till lunch, and then will be bowling, skating, swimming, and fine tuning the drama presentation (girls) for this Friday. If you would like to come out and see the young girls ‘creation fall and redemption’ drama presentation this Friday evening, please contact Keisha Reid at Keisha@cgmal.org to check on seat availability. We would love to have some folks come support our girls along with our local neighbors.

Camp Blue Lake…

Next week we will be taking most of those kids away on a camping adventure! Last year Kevin and I did this with 19 boys and it was a tiring but powerful experience for us, and the boys. This year we are headed to Andalusia with 70 kids for 5 days and 4 nights. Please prayer for us concerning this trip. We anticipate it will be powerful for the kids and it will give us a concentrated opportunity to meet with most, if not all, of the kids in a one on one setting to follow up on all the evangelistic opportunities we have had with them throughout the summer. They will be staying with us (5 staff and 7 summer interns) in camp cabins at a fun retreat center. Please pray for all of the above. We are heartbroken for the losses in our community but we have the God-given ability to walk in peace and joy in the midst of such pain and we know that the hope of the transforming ability of the Gospel can and WILL make a difference.

Thank you so much for your needed partnership.
Psalm 34:3,
Bryan Kelly