streetkidsPosted: January 22, 2011
It’s always so fun to me when I meet a very white person, and then they start talking in Spanish and their accent is like they were born in Latin America! This was my experience with Steve Bartel, the speaker at my CRS (Children at Risk School) this week. He started a ministry in Colombia focused on bringing God’s love to streetkids, which was his topic.
Steve is one of those speakers who bases quite a bit of their teaching on their experience. He is the one that wrote the essay on motivations for ministry, that I wrote about last week. Well, this week he spoke how your mission statement should reflect God being the center of your ministry. I loved that. It really touched me because sometimes my mindset can be very humanitarian based, not that humanitarian efforts aren’t amazing and needed, but I want to build my life my relationship with the Lord, not just doing good things.
Another thing that Steve talked about had a huge impact on me. He told us about some people that come to do their practicum to get their post-graduate degrees at their ministry facility. These post-graduate students are shocked that Steve believes that the kids who grew up on the streets can change. That they can have a different life path from the usual, and can be very successful adults. He also said that there is very little research on streetkids. This really hit home for me. It made me think about going to doing research on streetkids. I keep joking with my friends that I have a new career path everyday!
This week a had an experience that really challenged me. Some of you know about this ministry we do every week in Zona Norte, Tijuana. We give out soup to the homeless and some of us walk through the redlight district and pray. I’ve been feeling frustrated because I want to see a change there, but I don’t know what to do! We learned this week through Steve about how God has us pray into circumstances for a long time, even years before we ever see the parts of a ministry that people think of as ministry. He stressed the importance of building foundations of ministry, and I can see how the prayer in Zona Norte is how I am building a foundation for ministry in Tijuana.
So, does this mean that I feel called to Tijuana for the rest of my life? No. But I am feeling like MAYBE I will do an internship here after the lecture phase is over. The other official option is Jaco, Costa Rica. Or, I could find an entirely different internship that fits what I want to do longterm. As the weeks go on, I’ll keep praying into this choice, and keep you updated on what I’m thinking, as far as where to go on outreach.
PS- don’t forget to read my other website, http://www.riskschildrenface.wordpress.com, I’ll have an article up with questions I’d love you to comment on, as well as page about streetlife and how it is a risk that kids face.