"I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber." Psalm 121:1-3
The longer I serve with After Hours, the more I recognize how completely inadequate I am and my total dependence on my God to show Himself strong on my behalf. There are decisions to be made, counsel to be given and I find myself overwhelmed and unsure. But God... two of the most comforting words. I keep going back to what He has said and the sure calling I have in Him. God has created me, redeemed me and called me. This is not about me, not about my abilities, it is about Jesus. And He is faithful to keep me as surely as He has called me.
In the last several months God has brought many believers alongside us in after hours who have a heart to love and serve His people. I couldn't be more thankful. He has also brought us alongside several who have a heart for Los Angeles and has given us opportunity to serve the community together.
Outreach... The last few weeks we have had lots of volunteers and great nights of outreach. We have seen a lot of girls and been blessed to talk and pray with many. Of course we aren't always received with open arms but we trust that God is working. Those who turn us away this week may receive us next week, so we press on in hope. It is encouraging to see how God uses each of us and individual gifts to minister to the men and women we meet.
Treasures and World Impact...
Treasures is an outreach ministry that seeks to minister to women in the sex industry, mostly through strip clubs and porn conventions. Harmony Dust started this ministry and I had the privilege of meeting her last week. I was so encouraged by her and learned a lot in the short time we spent together. I am looking forward to see how God might use this relationship to grow His ministry.
Check out www.iamatreasure.com
World Impact is a missions organization that ministers in the inner city areas. We have connected with the center in Los Angeles and are so blessed by their example and their willingness to join us in our efforts. www.worldimpactla.org
I met D***** over the phone several months ago. Over the months we have prayed together every week and in the last several weeks she has begun to attend Bible study with us. This last week a few of us went to her home after study to pray over her house and her family. She lives with her daughters and granddaughters and life is very chaotic. Her home is not a place of peace.
After praying, one of her daughters asked me if I would study the Bible with her right then I couldn't believe it, clearly the Holy Spirit was working. We began to study together and soon everyone else joined us. What a sweet night of prayer and fellowship. But then I got a phone call today (several actually) from D's daughter C. Both know the Lord, at least with head knowledge but in many ways their lives do not express the truth that they know. I was so overwhelmed by what I heard during the phone call and began to feel helpless, as though their situation was too much for God to handle. I didn't know what to say or believe and just cried and cried and cried.
I prayed with a dear friend and she said two things to me, "you know you are called to this and you are know you are not capable...God is". At that moment I had so much peace.
I tend to take on the pain of others and internalize it.... I wind up exhausted and usually in actual physical pain. Of course it didn't help that I hadn't slept well in the last few days and was going non stop from one event to the next. But nonetheless I knew I needed to take a step back... to rest and to pray. To look to the Lord where my help comes from.
"The heart of man plans his way but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
Last week almost all of my plans took a different course. While this could have been frustrating and discouraging I know my God well enough to trust that His hand is guiding all things, even when it doesn't make sense. Resting in Him and looking to Him I press on, thankful that He cares for me.
Prayer requests this week:
1) Pray for outreach this Friday night
2) Pray for a young woman J who called me yesterday seeing help to get out of the game.
Blessings to you friends!