I have grown more in my faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and in my knowledge of God’s love in the last month here, at River City Ministry, than in my entire time as a Christian.
Yeah, I know that’s a bold statement. But it’s true.
Sitting face-to-face with sex offenders, with felons, with the mentally ill, with prostitutes, with hardcore addicts, with the chronically homeless, and trying to help them just get through day has shown me a side of God and humanity that is rarely seen in the typical church pew. I have seen God’s love fill the cracks of broken hearts and give them hope.
If my job was only to encourage these people, then I would be content being here. However, my days are filled with prayer, with Bible study, with restoration, with preaching, and so much more. Most powerfully of all, I am learning something new on a minute-by-minute basis. Urban ministry has proved to be the most challenging mission field I’ve encountered, which translates to a lifetime of trying to better understanding the marginalized and how best to serve them.
Let me tell you about my friend, Tony. Tony is the kind of guy who can make you laugh for hours; when he shows up, it makes the whole room lighter. Tony is the definition of a joyous person. The crazy thing is, from our perspective, he doesn’t have much to be joyous about. When Tony was my age, he was a minister, he had a family, and he definitely wasn’t homeless. He shared with me how his life brutally took a turn. As he was crossing the street to go hug his two kids, a drunk driver sped down the street. Tony doesn’t even remember the impact, but his two kids shared the story later as he laid in a hospital bed. Since then, Tony has struggled to support himself and his family because of his disability. Not only that, but because of his forced, sedentary lifestyle in his wheelchair, other major health problems have developed. He came to us for a hot meal, stuck in North Little Rock after a mixup at the bus station left him stranded with no money, even though he was traveling to visit his sick son. The crazy thing is, Tony taught me about Jesus. As I sat there, listened to his story, and heard him talk about God’s love for an hour, I couldn’t help but think about the same thing.
I would love to introduce you to Tony and countless other beautifully broken souls here at River City Ministry. Stop by sometime or try to get in touch with me.