- The Hub exists to develop young adults into urban leaders through incarnational training. We understand that the continued growth of urban areas and the urbanization of rural and suburban areas require an empirical and experiential method of training up individuals who can help bring health and wholeness to the urban areas typically resourced for a myriad of reasons. We recognize that Biblical community is a process that we open ourselves to sharing our lives and having common commitments. We are committing ourselves to transparent relationships, pursuing consistent practice of honest and loving communication and confrontation. Knowing that major differences exist based on ethnicity, culture and gender, we pledge ourselves to a climate which facilitates reconciliation. In light of our calling, we believe that we are to be stretched beyond our comfort zone and be bold for the sake of the Kingdom. As leaders we seek to embody integrity, discipline, and the courage to do what’s right in the midst of conflict, spiritual warfare and unjust systems. We intentionally open ourselves up to the influence of more mature leaders, wanting to be faithful, available, and teachable.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Hugs and Handshakes
In my dream as I was attempting to resist the pressure these demons were putting on me they placed a cardboard box on my head and to arm weights that restricted movement of my elbow but also keeping me from raising my hands to praise the Creator of the Universe. In this battle a recited the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13 to fight off these demons. When I was coming to the end of the prayer I was beginning to raise my hands and I felt the demons trying to put more weight on my arms from reaching to the heavens with acknowledgement of God’s power. And before I woke up I said, “In the Name of Jesus, leave this place, you have no power here.”
I woke up in my room gasping for air and watched these black Aztec looking figures fade into the night.
Why do I share this? Well, because God’s is changing the culture of the Courtyard at Central Park. This community is becoming a place where children learn to respect adults without being intimidated with fear, where parents can talk about their kids and share life, and where God is the center focus.
This past week at our after school program called “The Courtyard Champions” we implemented a gospel presentation at the end of each session and reminding each child to express gratitude by shaking hands or hugging a tutor (we keep kids behind if they do not say thank you to at least one tutor..:)...hahaha!). Our students are more engaged in wanting to get their homework done, we are reading for 30 minutes a day and the gospel is being shared. What more could you ask for right? Well, there is.
One of our Hub interns got the rest of us interested in doing a movie night for the neighbors out on a grass courtyard in our community. Gather some snacks, get a good blanket, and set back and enjoy the show, yeah right! I really wished it could have been something like that but we got something else entirely. Some wanted to watch the movie (the Hub and some of the little ones) but everyone else was in their own world. From our point of view it was hard to see what God was actually doing in just a short span of 1 hour 40 minutes, He was building a community by rebuilding hope for families to have a place to grow. At first I could not see it but when I did I realized that this was the purpose.
I could end the story there and tell you that the rest of the night was perfect, but I’d be lying and I really want to make sure that all the truth is said. There was still a lot of drama with the little adolescent girls, two kids ran into each other playing tag in the dark and not everyone stayed to watch the movie but something extraordinary did happen.\
One of the little boys whose been calling me “Hey Dude” did something that restored my faith, big time. I’ve been teaching him how to throw a Frisbee the past couple weeks and he loves it. You should definitely see this kid light up when I ask him if he wants to Frisbee. He’s been a little rough when it comes to teach respect and showing him how to give a “high five” without trying to break someone’s hand. Well, as we were cleaning up from the movie night, he came up to me with eye contact and extended his hand for a proper handshake. YES! A preview of the Kingdom of God in the form of this little boy.
God is moving in the hearts of the people in our community and Satan is getting offended. I think that’s why he thought I’d be shaken by some demons trying to mess with me but I know my God is more powerful than any obstacle that may come my way. Pray the Lord’s prayer with us and that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.