The past three months have been wearing. I am intentional in my life about creating margins. Nevertheless, in the past few months those margins have been encroached upon (but not destroyed) by life circumstances. Typically the weeks surrounding Christmas are a chance for refreshment and relaxation as I travel home to visit family. This year though brought the unexpected passing of my father the morning of my flight back to Missouri. The three weeks following included grief as well as ministry as I ministered to my family and began the long process of tying up loose ends. A process that takes much of my time still and will continue for a while.
Returning to New York brought a season in our ministry where we have been presented with extremely impactful opportunities for ministry. Due to the sensitive nature of many of these opportunities, there is only one I will share here.
A couple of weeks ago, while eating dinner in my apartment, I heard several gun shots. Not an uncommon occurrence, I was not too startled. Often these shots ring out without hitting any person. This time was different. Twenty minutes later I walked down the block to see crime scene tape on the corner. Inquiring with some friends, I found out that a 15 year old named Keith had been shot. Keith had often attended our summer sports camps.
The next day I had to travel to Missouri to handle some family business. All I could do was pray for Keith. Upon my return I inquired with some of Keith’s friends and they all thought he was doing well. Within a few days I managed to get to the hospital. I was somewhat surprised to find out he was in the ICU. Based on the reports given to me I expected to see a progressing patient. That was not what I saw walking into his room. Before me laid an intibated 15 year old, connected to a half dozen tubes, struggling for life. My heart broke as he reached out his hand, clasping mine. I prayed for healing and comfort for Keith. Nearly everyday since this initial visit, I have been to the hospital to see Keith. As I am writing this now, I am on a flight from Nashville to New York having represented G2 at a missions seminar at ClearView Baptist in Franklin. When I left Keith on Tuesday, he was sitting up, free from all tubes, capable of carrying on a conversation. Please pray for Keith.
I truly believe the best opportunities for ministry come through difficult circumstances. Not only have we been able to minister to Keith, but also to his family as well. God is indeed showing himself and is certainly the God of miracles.
Entering March, I was tired and worn, yet thanks to God, still strong.
“‘My gift of undeserved grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10