Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Bronx and The Bible

In the South Bronx, in a neighborhood called Mott Haven, the church I am attending, Graffiti, opened a second branch of their ministry, simply referred to as Graffiti 2. Graffiti Community Ministries reaches out to the city of New York in a BIG way. The people there have such great hearts to help people, and they do, constantly. With the exception of Fridays, their designated "sabbath," there is some form of outreach at that church every day. It is a place we could all learn from.

One thing done at both Graffiti 1 and 2 is an after-school program, where the kids get help with homework, followed by a bible study, snacks, and free-time. These kids come from all kinds of homes. The neighborhood in the Bronx where Graffiti 2 is located is the lowest-income congressional district in the country. In the afternoons, they have a place to go where they can get away from home and just be with friends and be around adults who care for them. Today, it was Brooklyn-Queens day in NYC, so there was no school in any of the boroughs. Graffiti 2 had a barbeque and Ema (my supervisor) and I went up to help. It was great to see these kids just let loose for a few hours and hang out. It's so hard to think of what some of them might be going home to. FBC Georgetown, a mission team from Texas, was there to help too. They are one of the most servant hearted churches I've ever come across! They have been such an inspiration to me in this kick-off week for a summer of service.

Tonight I went to church with a acquaintance of mine whom I met when her BCM (Miami) did a mission trip to Louisiana. She grew up in NYC and has moved back now that she graduated. The message was from Nehemia 10:1-32. These people took a vow of service and honor to God, they even put it in writing!

"They swore a curse on themselves if they failed to obey the Law of God as issued by his servant Moses. They solemly promised to carefully follow all the commands, regulations, and decrees of the Lord our Lord"(v. 29)

This really got me thinking. How committed am I? I know I could be alot more committed to God and doing what he asks me to do. And the big question that the pastor posed was: If we know that doing God's will and listening to him brings blessing upon us, then why do we never fully submit to him? Why would we ever want to hold anything back?

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