A walk through the Projects
One of the ministry points that we had was in the projects of York. Stillnaz has a bus ministry that goes into the heart of the city and brings a lunch to the kids every Saturday. In order for the kids to get the lunch, they get to sit through a program on the bus. The kids range from 3-12, and most come by themselves, but there were 3 mother figures there as well. The kids were crazy rambunctious and had a hard time listening to Chastity Frederick (the lady who runs the thing with her husband, Jade...Aubrey and I really liked them...she is becoming a doctor so that they can go overseas and serve as missionaries...they have 3 beautiful kids). And after they listened to her and sang silly songs with me, they got off the bus and grabbed their lunches and ran off.
We told some of our students to go to the park and clean it up. So they went over there and were picking up some of the trash that was there, including some of the trash that the kids were leaving there. One of the kids on the bus threw his trash down in front of our students and one of our students asked him to pick up his trash, and then a little tif started which ended with the 10 year old kid calling our student a nigger. That set the missions student off. Thankfully an adult was close by and separated the two. Ironic that we would be there to serve...
But I came in at the end and talked with our student, trying to help him cool down, trying to hear his side of the story, trying to help him understand where the kid was coming from, trying to help him see how Christ would react. He was pretty mad. After he cooled down a bit and the other kid had left, I let him grab lunch and go back to the park. But the story didn't end there.
Our final assignment there was to take flyers to the different doors to advertise for VBS that is coming up. I decided I wanted to take Cody as my partner and leave the other guys with somebody else. I wasn't sure what I was going to say, but I took him along with me. As we walked I explained to him how the projects work, how most of the people there don't have much money at all, how many of them are hurting. I showed him the backs of the houses, which were pretty torn up with lots of trash all over the place. I wasn't trying to shove anything down his throat, but he seemed to be getting it when he said, "So, that's why the kid wanted to fight with me. He's not in a good situation..." Yeah, man...you're getting it.
And later that day as he was leaving to go home with his mother, he came up to me and said, "Hey Josh, thanks for taking me on that walk." That's all he said. But I knew that the Spirit was helping him understand. I only pray that it will stay and that the Spirit will develop within him the heart to understand other people's stories.
It is amazing how knowing the backgrounds of somebody will change the way you look at them.