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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hunger Games- Hood Edition

I just love when my family is able to get away and BREATHE from the normal hustle and bustle of life. My brain has time to think!! Ha! Here is something I've been pondering on throughout the night. As I sat down and watched (for the 15th time) the first Hunger Games movie I noticed something interesting President Snow said when he felt threatened by Katiness influence over the districts. He said this: 

"Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it's contained." (Hunger Games 2012)

My mind begin to race, and all the bible verses that I know that speak about what it means to be FREE and a NEW creation in Christ begin to literally overwhelm my brain. HOPE can be a very dangerous thing when you have an enemy that wants to destroy you. When people are filled with HOPE , lies are destroyed, strongholds are broken, Faith is strong and one's IDENTITY is realized. My husband and I moved into Washington Park under a burden and calling from the Lord to live out a message of HOPE that is available to all. Of course our enemy saw that and just like President Snow, his goal from the beginning was to try to convince the people, that the church (Gods people) had other motives. 

The enemy wants nothing more then to convince people that the slavery they are in is better then any amount of hope or freedom the gospel could offer. He knows that when lost, black men and young boys who live in the hood gain an once of gospel HOPE that families are able to be restored, dope is no longer pushed through our communities, and gangs are not sought after for affirmation. He knows when HOPE is given and taken in by young teen girls and women that they no longer settle for being treated less then the Queen they are, prostitution isn't an option for those out of work and teen pregnancy isn't used for significance or affirmation. (Of course there are other factors for these issues, I'm only scratching the surface )
I know folks get tired of me saying this, but when people know their purpose, and are given the correct identity lives are changed!  So, President Snow was right, HOPE is dangerous. Hope is the reason why my family can move into an undesirable community unapologetically and say we are here to spread the HOPE of the gospel to a culture of people that have been systemically beat down, overlooked and not cared for. Yes, this is true and we know this because we too are apart of this culture and have experienced some of the very same things. (And STILL DO)

HOPE is the reason why my husband is posting on Facebook day in and day out of his need for Mentors. Do you realize how powerful the hope is that YOU HAVE and what it can do in the life of the hopeless?!  At no rate am I writing this with an attitude of "look what we are doing ", "we got it together " or etc. But I am writing this from a heart of HOPE and urgency. My family has something more precious then gold and we just want to give it away to others who need it so desperately. So when you hear us talk about the African American community and it's issues, please don't take that to mean we ONLY care about people who look like us. 

We care for all people, the LORD has just burdened us for our culture in the same way He burdened Nehemiah for his people and Moses for the Israelites. Just as Moses wanted his people to experience freedom from slavery as he did, so do we. We don't want to be the people complaining about urban communities and their plight. We want to be apart of the change and hope that is able to take place when the Lord places his people in the position to use them to do so.

My prayer has been that the Lord would unleash within my community a spark of HOPE that isn't contained, but life affirming, life changing and gospel centered. I'm overwhelmingly thankful for Strong Tower at Washington Park. A small church with a BIG vision. I'd love to come back and share more of how this small community of believers have their hands to the  plow and planting seeds throughout this community.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

"I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves." -Harriet Tubman