Friday, December 12

Headed to the Outback...





Yep, that's right. Finals are over. My notes are on my bookshelf. The books have been sold back. I'm pretty sure I pulled a 4.0 this semester, or at least pretty close to it. Whose keeping track though? I'm free.

Grades are the last thing on my mind - I'll be boarding a plane in about 36 hours to head to northern Australia...in the Queensland area. Don't ask me how or why I do the most random things...just so goes my life :) I'm beginning to see a small trend in myself...about every six months I do something really random. Ever felt like you were having a an outer-body experience? Well, that's how I felt when one of my girlfriends (who is currently in grad school and getting her masters in business)called me about two and a half weeks ago. I'll sum up the conversation with one sentence that came from her mouth, "I have two, free, first-class tickets for you and I to go to Australia for nine days."

What?

Yep, that's what I said. Well, it was more like "whaaaaaaat? how? when? why? are you serious? shutup."

So I'm off. Off to be spoiled in first class. Off To summertime in Australia. To a villa on the beach. To see the Great Barrier Reef. To relax. To read. To retreat. To shop. To talk with Aussies. To find Hugh Jackman (go see the movie Australia). To get away from everyone and everything. To stop.

If you know me, or halfway know me...you would know that I headed not to the mall to get some clothes for the trip (not to mention, there are no summer clothes in December anywhere) - but to Barnes & Noble to get some books. Ahhh, the joy of having ample time to read what I want to read outside of my studies of cardiology, human diseases, and exercise physiology. I cannot wait.

From the fullness of His love I have received...one blessing after another.

Saturday, November 22

Sons and Daughters of the Living God

Many of you might recall one of my resolutions from this past summer...to one day adopt. My small group leaders have just recently adopted, and really have incredible hearts for the orphan. They shared this video with me...and I have officially become a Georgia fan in a matter of four minutes. I am convinced there is no better way to understand, capture, or experience the Gospel than through the picture of adoption.



For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:14-15

Tuesday, November 18

Hemmed In by this Mystery


It's been awhile, as always...one day I will have time to write freely for hours :) I'm believing the Lord for that. In fact, this past week I actually wrote out in my journal, "Today I just want to be a hippie for the rest of time; get a tattoo, live downtown, become a writer, own a used book store with all the old classics, drink hot tea (which I hate, but I feel like I could learn to like), and wear vintage clothes." Maybe it was a weak moment in the midst of my never-ending studies. Ha...but don't put it past me. Speaking of studies, here I sit at a local book store/coffee shop...with a final exam to take in a few hours....and I'm reading everything but my notes getting particularly excited about Malachi 4.


"For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," Says the Lord of hosts, "That will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I will do this," Says the Lord of hosts.

Amen. Need I say more? He's coming.

Back to the title of this blog. I love mystery, who doesn't really? I love mysterious people. Seriously, I kind of have this weird love for people that I cannot quite figure out. Hiddenness, it's such a beautiful thing...I love the unknown more than most. I love not knowing what's next. . . It envokes searching, longing, wonder, and devout focus. I love the chase. Yet, at the same time - I want to KNOW. My mind is analytical, I'm typically a pretty black and white person, and I love figuring stuff out. I know all that seems contradictory - but I'm weird like that. I think what I'm trying to voice is that in some areas of my life I destroy the wonder of the unknown Mystery in my mind for the sake of logic. Pondering all of this, I came across one of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's writings about this concept:


"Living without mystery means being ignorant of the mystery of our own life, of the mystery of other people, of the mystery of the world. It means passing over our own hiddenness, the hiddenness of other people and the world. It means being superficial. It means taking the world seriously only in so far as it can be calculated and exploited, not going behind the world of calculation and utility. Living without mystery means either failing to see or even denying the decisive matter of life. It means failing to see that the roots of the tree lie in the hidden darkness of the earth, that everything that lives in the light comes form the darkness and hiddenness of a mother's womb, that all of our ideas, all of our spiritual life comes from the same hidden, mysterious darkness of our body, as all of life. That is something we don't want to know. We do not want to be told that mystery is the root of all that can be understood and revealed and explained. And if we are told this, we want to quantify this mystery, calculate and explain it, dissect it. And, the result is that we kill life and do not discover the Mystery."


Enjoy the Mystery today. Quit being so logical. Put aside theology for a moment and simply enjoy Him. Let your heart sing a new melody. May you be lost in intimate wonder, the freedom of searching, and Heavenly imagination this day.

Sunday, October 26

Run Baby Run...

Yesterday, on a whim - Ashley and I decided to run ten miles. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and painful all at once. I don't know what comes over us on these random days of let's kill ourselves in some athletic way. Both of us are extremely competitive...which is probably the only way either of us kept running.

Speaking of running...Mark Driscoll has been running with me lately (via my iPOD)...and I laugh out loud at certain points of my run...I have been studying Ruth and have gone through his six week study of this book...wow. I have read Ruth a million times this past week. Study this romantic love story, study this picture of redemption, study this man with a warrior's heart, study this woman who is marked by lovingkindness.

Now..just a little bit from the heart lately..a jumbled prayer from my journal.

I will soar with You everyday.
You hold me in Your embrace high above this fallen world.
I, by Your love, run through the fields, ripe.
I eat of Your goodness,
Your Words drip with satisfaction upon these lips...
The lightness of Your Spirit carries me adrift,
I gaze upon You
The fire in Your eyes pierces this flesh.
I am exposed
as Your eyes search to and fro
You find me...
a destitute girl
distracted
weary
tossed by the wind
passive
anxious

masked by an impoverished spirit
a faithless being
wallowing in deception
a soul encapsulated by sin

made frail by the lies of this age...
Yet You call out my name
You sing over me
beauty
chosen
lover
Mine

a longing that is undeniable
blessed
strong
bride adorned in white

holiness
redeemed
friend
glorious
hunger for wisdom

revelation for today
a steadfast girl
daughter
one refined
she who is becoming

I want to hear Your heartbeat. Attack the deception of vain imaginations that paralyze this girl. Win the war in my eyes...own my gaze. Find me faithful. Illuminate the skies over my head, let Your glory come down - as we, Your bride and the Spirit cry COME Lord Jesus, COME.

Thursday, October 16

Conversations

Conversations...the stories of my kids...the ones that I love...the ones whom I stand before the Lord on their behalf...the ones that I cry for tonight, the ones that never cease to bring tears to these eyes:

"I spent the night with my grandfather last night. He took all my money and went to the clubs at midnight."

"I am afraid someone is going to take me away forever. Bad people live in my neighborhood."

"You don't understand, I'm black Katie."

"I've been angry ever since I was a child. It's just the way I am, and it's who I'll always be. Angry."

"My teacher is racist."

"She (40 yr old woman) called the cops because I snapped and cursed her out. I was about to beat her up; I don't like her daughter. My mom got all up in her face."

"There is a man that lives in the Projects that lures kids in with Popsicles and candy...and abuses them. He goes by "Coach"."

"My sister is 16. She gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday."

"My boyfriend just got out of jail."

"My lesbian girlfriend cheated on me with a boy...now she's pregnant. What do I do?"

"I stay at school as long as I can...I don't want to go home because I hate my mom's boyfriend."

My heart aches. My spirit is overwhelmed. These are the ones the Lord has entrusted into my hands this year - may I understand the weight of that responsibility...I believe in them...no, it's not always easy - Most days its the hardest thing I've ever done. Pray for them, I plead with you.


Ezekiel 16. I absolutely love it. God's love for His chosen people. How He loves Jerusalem. It's the story of me. I feel things moving in the spirit realm when I read these words in Ezekiel. A couple of words/phrases that the Lord has continually etched upon my heart the past 3 months....ZEALOUS, COVENANT, ALLURE, RESTORATION, FAITHFUL to the FAITHLESS, LIFE, and LONGING to LONG again.
More to come on all of these...stay tuned.

As for everyday, written in short, quick sentences....I think fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cold weather. I cannot wait to wear hats, scarves, and jackets. I've been in a very domestic phase lately - I cook all the time and I love it. I'm counting down the days till OneThing 08 in KC. I am headed to Dallas this weekend for the State Fair with some friends...please note, I HATE the fair and I can't make myself get excited about fried oreos, fried twinkies, or corndogs -- and I won't apologize for that :) No doubt we will have fun though! The international house of prayer webcast is always playing in my room. My dad left me a voicemail tonight that made me cry, he was just saying hey and that he loves me. I LOVE the holiday season. All of my friends are now dating someone, must be that senior year deal. Aggie football is horrible and boring this year. I have turned into somewhat of a blog stalker - Hollie Hixson, you win. I started going to a new hope group led by worship minister and his wife --it's going to be a good year. I consider myself a cardiologist - seriously ask me anything, bring me your ECG and I'll explain it to you. My classes sometimes scare me...Abnormal Psych convinced me I was schizophrenic, my Cardiology class has convinced me I have congestive heart failure or I will die from heart disease eventually, Human Diseases makes me wonder how I'm still alive...I'm just saying.

Until that Day...




Thursday, October 2

Where Grace Abounds Day after Day

Just a few shots from here lately. I promise to post some of my writings soon.

School is eating my life right now :) I'm almost done here though, crazy. This pretty much sums up a lot of my life right now in a practical, everyday sort of a way...I ride my bike everyday, everywhere. I teach a strength and conditioning class at 5:45 am twice a week. I feel old here, I mean I am a senior. I am ready to graduate. I live in the cutest historic home ever with hardwood floors throughout. I spend my Thursdays with inner-city Middle Schoolers, and I would have it no other way. Running is my time to think, breathe, escape, and relax everyday. I'm still a Theta :) I'm obsessed with my church. Coffee makes everything better. I miss my family more than I ever have (since freshmen year at least). I'm taking a year off before I start grad school (if I ever start). My five roommates are hilarious - one of them brought a stray cat inside tonight and I almost killed it, literally. I love candles. People come and go. Things never stop changing in college. I love the wisdom of old people. These Presidential debates are making me nervous. I was made to be outside. I miss the beach. I'm due for a random road trip. Any suggestions? Moving on...


Jen came in town (took a break from corporate America) and laughed with me, encouraged me, and laughed some more. How I miss this girl.

Aggie Rings. I know, it seems lame. Who gets college rings? EVERY Aggie. One more reason to make fun of us...ha, but really, its a huge deal when you finally get your Aggie Ring at ATM after taking 91 credit hours. I think I have 120 hours now.

Being Katie.

A few roommates at Kim's wedding. People are getting married everywhere :)

Kia and Tay Tay making some cookies at my house one afternoon. They are the reason I'm here.

Tay got glasses and braces while I was away this summer. Ohhh Middle School.

I have the cutest brother ever. I went to his football game in Austin (only an hour from me!) at UT last weekend. The Razorbacks got killed, but it was such a sweet day spent with my parents and I loved getting to see Austin suited up in uniform. I saw him for like 10 minutes after the game before he flew back to Fayetteville with the team...just long enough to get a hug and snap a picture.

He's huge.

Hey..he's wearing my last name :)

One more before you go Austin! Proud sister. I miss him.


All because of Grace.

Monday, September 8

To Be Violent

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12

A common Scripture...approached from many differing perspectives, but I have been pondering what it means to be be spiritually violent....these are some of the ways the Lord has challenged me to be violent, so that i may lay hold of the Kingdom of Heaven - the Kingdom I long to know and encounter... Violence for me in this season entails...

Growing in Knowledge of the Word
A heart that is alive and kept with the utmost of care
Retreating to the secret place behind a shut door
A lifestyle of Fasting and Intercession
Adequate sleep
Worshiping Lips
Daily surrender of my will
To be bold within my collegiate circles
Welcoming brokenness
Laying aside my calendar
Falling in love with the Bridegroom God
Defending the widow and the orphan
Embracing lonely days
Turning my cell phone off

Giving of my first fruits
Calling out the good in others
More Listening
Finding joy in the mundane
Choosing to take every thought captive
Diligence and excellence in little tasks
Gazing and Listening
Realizing that death in this life means life eternal with my Maker
Weeping for the lost
Asking for more grace, more love, more life, more revelation, more opportunity - I want more!

I have so far to go, so much more to attain in the spiritual realms of violence. So many things are warring for me affections, my attention, my intellect, my thoughts, and my future. Defend me Jesus, lest I become weary. Arm me with your armor. Anoint me with Your power. Fight for me as I struggle against the expectations of this fallen world.

Monday, August 25

Goodbye LA...Hello Texas

Summer is officially over for this girl. I made it back to Texas late Thursday night and I began classes today. It has been a quick turn around for me to say the very least. It has been really sweet to catch up with friends here...but to be honest, it has been a somewhat of a difficult transition for me. Texas is tack-nasty hot and humid - just sick really...and I have received 321 mosquito bites in the 4 days that I have been back here. Ha, but for real...I feel like part of my heart is still in LA...and right now I am just praying for my heart to catch up with the rest of my body geographically. The culture is way different here, obviously...and there are days when my heart just feels super vulnerable about being back here...leaving my eyes always on the verge of tears. This is a good place to be, but not necessarily easy. I have definitely hit the ground running - leaving little time for me to really take adequate time to gather some of my lingering thoughts from this summer. Today I was able to set some time aside and do just this. With Bible, pen, and journal in hand I just began to jot down some simple thoughts and revelations from the summer. Some are more serious than others...some are more personal while others are broad and vague. So here we go, with very little format...and mostly heart's cries ---

  • The beauty of doing what one is called to do is indescribable.
  • I resolve to hold loosely the things which my Jesus has graciously entrusted me with in order to bless others in His name.
  • I love to write...a lot. Something about writing really stirs my affections for the Lord. I resolve to write diligently this year and to be better about sharing my writings with others.
  • Community is not a commodity, but completely necessary in ministry and in life.
  • There is always Hope.
  • I have a unique calling upon my life...I will not fight that fact any longer.
  • I will adopt - there is no greater picture of the Gospel.
  • Where the Spirit of the Lord is made welcome - He dwells, and where He dwells freedom reigns.
  • Discipleship - something I need to believe in more. It's powerful.
  • I love the grace of my Maker...words do no justice on this one, so I'll leave it at that.
  • Living a life surrendered is the best way to experience the faithfulness of the Father. The steps I take in abandoned faith - this is where I encounter the Father the most.
  • I will be grateful, on my face grateful, every single day. Period.
  • Cultural diversity sharpens one another, while uniformity is dangerously toxic.
  • I am selfish.
  • How refreshing it is to be surrounded with those who have kindred spirits, who love the Word, and who are running hard after our King...thank you Jesus.
  • "Big dreamers do not have time to swim in the pool of subtle offenses". - Matthew Barnett
  • The books of Isaiah and Hebrews - this is where I meditated most this summer. Much to be learned here.
  • I have been taken, blessed, and broken in order to be given. Forever.
  • There is something intrinsic within me that lives to love on the less fortunate, the broken, and the addicted.
I am going to end there...in fears that the list is getting too long and you are about to quit reading :) This summer was life changing...I am sure I will reference it more on this blog. From one of my prayers back in July...

"Let my life always be given to You Jesus and to people. Holy Spirit, open the gates of Heaven - let Heaven come unto Earth...Let that be my calling, my journey, my desire - to see Heaven upon this earth. Sometimes I feel like I am so far from experiencing this...yet I love receiving glimpses of Heaven, and I have seen many this summer - I see it in the worshiping lips speaking and singing Your Word, I see Heaven's citizens in the people I am serving alongside, I see the childlike faith in the hands that I hold in the projects, I hear the sounds of Heaven when I commune with You Jesus...yet I cannot fathom the culmination of all of these things in one Dwelling Place...and to live There forever...how I long for that day...but until then - I am believing in Your power, in Your grace - that I might experience Heaven here on this earth. Thank you for the glimpses...I cannot wait for the full encounter".

Pray for me as I adjust back to life in college. Actually, pray I don't adjust too much...that I don't get comfortable...but that my heart will be settled. There are many unknowns in my life right now...I feel the weight of these things in my spirit daily. I know I am called to be here for this season...and I am excited about this upcoming year and the opportunities ahead. I was back in the projects yesterday here...it didn't take me long - I could not wait to see my girls (they are in the picture at the very bottom of this website). I took Tay Tay to get school supplies last night before here first day of school and then of course to Sonic. I love those girls...

On a side note...keep my parents in your prayers as well...they head out to Africa tomorrow as they are moving forward with constructing an orphanage in Malawi. You can follow their journey here : 1millionorphans.com --- what a calling. God is sovereign.

Smile today.

Thursday, August 14

Counting Down...

The time has come, and the countdown has begun as I prepare to leave LA. What a summer it has been. What an experience. What an opportunity. What a blessing.

I have many mixed emotions about leaving here. While I am excited to see my family for approximately 36 hours, and though I cannot wait to hug and catch up with the Texas crew...it is going to be difficult to say goodbye to the people I have come to love here. It's hard to believe I have been at this place for nearly three months.From the people on the streets, to the leadership of this ministry, to the people I am serving alongside - I have been encouraged beyond expression. Community is such a beautiful thing...Grateful for all of these things, yet knowing that this life is created by continual transitioning from season to season, I continue onward ... so here I go - ready to enter into what I pray to be a new season of excellence, wisdom, and revelation. Pray that as one season folds, that the next will open with greatness.

The Lord has spoken much into my life recently. In the midst of this sweetness, my spirit is at the same time overwhelmed by a lot of unknowns right now. My perspective has been altered as I have witnessed the lifestyles of the simple ones. My heart has been awakened more than ever - made alive in love for my Jesus, for His Word, and for His people. As I ponder the future days ahead - senior year, career choice, ministry, grad school, relationships, a city - I find it difficult not to run with a "living for that which is urgent mentality"...Here is another journal excerpt from my wrestling with that which is eternal.

"He has put eternity in the hearts of men (Ecc. 4:11). My heart beats for only that which is eternal – for here I have no continuing city, but I seek only the one to come (Heb. 13:14). What a beautiful paradox it is to have only a hunger for eternity yet at the same time realize absolutely nothing in this broken, temporary place we call earth will satisfy these longings. Fight that which is but a vapor, go to war with the spirit of delusion so that one's heart will remain steadfast in truly yearning for that which will never fade. If my days are as handbreadths and at best I am but a vapor; then I am most assuredly on the brink of eternity (Psalm 39). So Father God, help me to live not for that which is urgent; but rather, direct my footsteps to walk with great urgency for that which is eternal. Ruin me for eternity."

Easy to write, hard to do...just so you know :)

Tuesday, August 5

Faces

I finally took my camera out to Imperial Courts, my Adopt-a-Block site and snapped a few quick pictures. So here is but a glimpse of a Saturday morning.I also went to a Dodgers game last weekend - super fun, I love baseball.

Haseim...one of His...a face of the inner city projects.My boys..Emon and Tremel. They live in Imperial Courts and come to church weekly with us on the bus..
Obsessed.
Just hanging out at Haseim's house.
At Adopt-a-Block...Setting up the Food Line. The kids love to help us.
Beautiful face.
Just a little loving from Basimah, she is one of my favorites.
Go Dodgers.
Adam, me, and Tom after the game.
The whole crew. Fun night...Dodgers lost.
Yep, we were sitting pretty high up...but it didn't matter. However, I then realized about halfway through the game that my friend was the starting pitcher for the Dodgers game. He visits us in College Station often and sleeps on our couch - his name is Clayton. I couldn't believe it...didn't realize he was thaaaat good - way to go humble Clayton :)

Tuesday, July 29

Acts 20

The beauty of Scripture...that it's power never fades, that life is spoken through the Word each time I read it, no matter how many times I have read it before...this week I have been taken back to a couple of Scriptures that have had a profound effect on my life...I was looking back over some of my writings/prayers and came across a passage that I was really praying through on my journey of finding the Lord's will for this summer...Written exactly six months ago...I feel closer to being at this point than I ever have before -- yet still so much further to go to be able to confidently proclaim this longing within the depths of me.

"If only I could stand before my family, my colleagues, my roommates, my coworkers, my church body, my peers, my enemies...if only I could fall at my King's feet and boldly proclaim Paul's honest reflections in Acts 20:18-35....As I continue to journey and wander from earthly city to earthly city, I am determined to be able to speak Paul's meek words...Based on how I have always lived before men and among men - each will know that I sought to wholly serve he Lord with all humility. In the midst of the tears and endless trials as I chose to strive with fallen man...still I withheld nothing that might profit your soul; instead I proclaimed it loudly in the crowded marketplace and within my own home. I testified to all peoples, I continually spoke of the beauty of repentance toward God and the joy of running in faith toward my Beloved. The Holy Spirit has bound me so that I must continue forth to a new city - so that all might know. All I have is the Holy Spirit, it is only He that goes with me...it is not I, but the Spirit that testifies all things. I was fully aware of the the chains that would attempt to take me captive and of the countless tribulations that would await me always. But it simply did not detour my passionate longing to speak on behalf of my Bridegroom. My life doesn't carry any worth in this city, it means nothing to me. All I want is to finish this race with joy unspeakable. I am here for the ministry of love, to testify the wondrous Gospel of Grace. I must keep moving onward...I must tell all. I am innocent of the blood of all men, only because I have chosen to declare the love, mercy, and justice of my Jesus. I have warned, faithfully warned my brethren of the schemes of the evil one. I did not covet any others' wealth or possessions. Instead I trusted the Jesus I was serving to provide for me only that which is necessary. I have demonstrated to you by all that I do and say - that it is necessary and even more rewarding to support and love those that are the weakest. It is not I, but our Savior who declares, "It is more blessed to give than to receive.""

Read Acts 20 for yourself. Forget my words. Make it your own prayer.


One story ... in a time crunch as always...but I wanted to tell you about Allison. Allison is a woman I met on Skid Row about two weeks ago. As I walked around the area where we were serving food, I prayed very specifically that the Spirit would lead me to the one whom I needed to speak with. As I walked the grounds, as I do every week...I prayed intently. I caught a lady's eyes as I walked and just smiled at her. Her face lit up and she returned a smile. I saw something different in her eyes, and the Spirit whispered "Go Katie, go show her My Love"... I walked towards her and began a conversation with this woman, Allison. As we talked about my internship and what I was doing this summer she expressed great interest in the Dream Center and our discipleship/rehab program. I explained to her more about the program -- and long story short...I was able to load this woman in my car (Shawn's car) and bring her back to the Dream Center with me and enroll her in the discipleship program. She has committed to be here a year - pray that the Lord gives her strength to remain. She has made it through one of the most difficult stages I believe, the detox within the first week. It brings me such joy to see her on campus here with all the other discipleship women. I cannot speak with her beyond a simple hello...but I know my prayers are so much more effective than anything I could ever converse with her about. Praise the Lord...for he receives the prodigals with open arms. Help me to do the same Jesus.

Tired of writing...be blessed.

Monday, July 28

A weekend away...

I have much to update you on...The past couple of weeks have been incredible. It is such a privilege to be serving here. Right now I don't have time to write really, but here are a couple of pictures from my weekend away in Florida with the family. It was a sweet time...and so good to have everyone together in one place...these times are few and far between in this season of life. Beautiful.
Beach Bums.
I love the heck out of this boy.

Kiiiiim....my hero, duh.

Ok, so this is me and my boyfriend. I felt it necessary to take this picture in the midst of all the other couple shots. I was the 7th wheel all weekend :)

Cuties.

Austin replaced me on this trip...but I like her, so it's OK.

Some say we are twins. Still daddy's little girl.

Rockin' the shades. Get a tan Drew.

Really, really, really blessed.

I promise I will write soon. I have so much to write about it semi-overwhelms me. Maybe later on tonight or in the morning...Hope this day finds you well.

Wednesday, July 9

Lethal Lack of Community

It's July. What the heck? Time is slipping away from me so quickly here. A lot has happened since I have last written...more than I can catch you up on, my bad - bear with me...I'm just going to choose a couple of things to write about.

As for a quick miscellaneous life update...My friend Shawn Hyde who is currently doing an internship at Saddleback in Orange County went to India for a month - and has let me borrow his car for the last couple of weeks. What a blessing that has been. Needless to say, I am a pro at driving in LA and actually enjoy it somewhat. I feel like I am on Mario Cart or something...it's like a game to me...So praise the Lord for a vehicle and many trips to the beach and to Yogurt Land. Secondly, Kristin Borden just left this morning...she came and visted me for a couple days and we had a great time. It was refreshing to see a familiar face. She even got me to eat sushi while she was here...big feat. We went shopping maybe 234 times during the four days she was here :) We also went to Laguna Beach and rode a trolley (yes trolley, i felt 84 years old, but it was cute) alongside the beach and through the mountains...beautiful.

As for life at the Dream Center....everything is going wonderful. I am still being amazed by this ministry and the people I am serving alongside. Just to touch on a few of things that have happened recently...I went out on food truck one day last week and had the opportunity to have a pretty in depth conversation due to some LA traffic with the ministry leader as well as another one of my guy intern friends....Alfred, the ministry leader spoke much truth during our time together. He was heavily involved in the gang scene before Christ transformed his life and took him as His own. He taught me a lot about the history of generational gangs in LA...and you would be shocked at the statistics regarding gangs in this area. A couple of things that we conversed about have really been on my heart and in my mind over the past 7 or 8 days. Within the walls of the church or even just in everyday life...we focus way too much time on solutions. I want to fix everything and everyone. In my heart I know I am unable to do this - but even so, I want my Jesus to fix them, fix the situation, fix the mess, or solve the problem. Life, business, relationships, church, ministry, school - I am always searching for a solution of some sort. Being a perfectionist, this is often magnified within my own life. Alfred explained the greater need for compassion versus solution. Generational gangs cannot be fixed with a bandaid. You cannot find a quick fix for something that is rooted so deeply in sin. Period. When I think compassion...I don't necessarily associate the word with much power. However, great revelation is being called forth in my life that there is immeasurable power in the compassionate spirit. So Lord, give me compassion. I want Your eyes, Your ears, Your love...Beyond this, Alfred also discussed what he called "the lethal lack of community in LA". There is much to be learned about this. We build churches in America, not community. I find it be the greatest downfall of the western world. We were made for community...and one will search till he finds it whether it be in a gang, in a neighbordhood, in a club, or in a church. The responsibilty is mine..its ours, as the Church to cultivate community -- open your eyes, look around...the world is screaming and reeling for community.

Today, I was out at Skid Row for the afternoon with our ministry Under the Bridge, feeding hot meals to the homeless. I had the sweetest conversation with a sixty year old woman, Frieta. She is currently in the process of coming off of meth and heroine. I was drawn to her immediately and I got to talk with her for nearly two hours. We laughed a lot, and she was so encouraging to me with her words. She was a little bit concerned that I am twenty-one and not dating anyone...she didn't quite understand, but she wanted me to know that I did not need to wait until I was thirty to start a family. She told me that I better find him soon - I told her I was confident he is going to find me :) All I could do was laugh...that conversation is a reoccuring theme in my life...but It's cool how the Lord always opens up opportunities for me to share about my life in Him and why I do what I do. Today was weird because my heart was broken and encouraged all at once. That makes zero sense - but that's the best way I know how to put it. I prayed for her at the end of the afternoon and didn't want to leave her. I cannot tell you how many times I just wish I could have my Xterra here and load up four women off the streets and take them home with me and spoil the heck out of them...so that they might know what life is, what life abundant is with my Jesus. Oh that they might know...I am believing that one day they will. How I long for that day...when He makes all things new.

I am delirious. Forgive the jumbled thoughts...but I have been getting hate messages about the lack of blogging here lately...so I wanted to write really briefly before I went to bed. Goodnight. Figure out a way to cultivate community today - community that is fixed on Christ...include some new people in your community today. Talk to someone on the street corner. Bless someone in your office building, heck - bless a couple of people. Take someone random to lunch. Spend a little extra time communing with our Maker so that you might have a better vision of what community is supposed to look like. Get out of your world...and get in someone elses. You don't need an invite.

Friday, June 27

Still Alive

Yep, I am still alive. The last week has been a whirlwind and I have had very little down time...so needless to say, I have much to update you on. Last week we experienced what Californians refer to as a "heat wave". I'm not sure if I have previously mentioned that my room does not have air conditioning - but it doesn't...which up until last week was not an issue. However, during those several days of pretty extreme heat, I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I love the heat when I'm outside...but when there is no escape - it's tough. I didn't get much sleep...and for those of you that know me - that's not good. I know this is just one more way for me to somewhat be able to relate to the people I'm ministering to...once again, it's hard to complain - at least I have a bed, a pillow, and a roof.

I spent a good majority of my week at Skid Row last week. I was out there every afternoon feeding hot meals to the homeless. Mind you, hot meals on these very hot days...but the people didn't care, we fed 300 one afternoon. One day I was working the water table - and I was given the opportunity to see what it means and even what it looks like for one to be truly thirsty. Here's an excerpt from my prayer journal later that evening..."True thirst. It is evident. It is the longing that consumes oneself. It drives one - it sends one searching for something, for anything that will satisfy. Today I met thirsty people, I touched the thirsty, I conversed with the thirsty, I prayed for the thirsty. I looked into their blood-shot eyes and I handed each one a cup of cold water. Immediately the water was consumed. Ease overtook their countenance and a hint of grateful joy gleamed from those weary eyes. Many asked for more - I gave freely. That is the beauty of tasting and seeing that something is good...one cannot help but be left longing for more. The same goes for my Jesus. He will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts (Rev. 21:6). Let me understand what it means to be thirsty.. make me a never-ending reservoir, a deep abyss so that You may rain down the fountain of the water of life. I defined by my thirst - so find me always with unquenchable thirst and perpetual hunger."

This week we have over 250 people here on short term missions. I love hanging out with the teams, I have been amazed this week by some of the youth we have had in here - their hearts are focused, their spirits broken, and their tears are real...my ministry gets assigned different teams on various days and basically we just invade LA and do random acts of kindness. Yesterday we spent all day at MacArthur Park with different teams. We handed out free lollipops, Popsicles, balloons, and lemonade. Others were assigned to pick up trash in the park as well as a trash pickup along the streets. We also had an area set aside to pray for people. I wish I could give you a visual as to what all this looked like going down at once. This park is huge, and is divided in half by a psycho intersection with multiple bus stops - all I am saying is...this place was crawling with people, and here comes the Dream Center...signs in hand reading "Free Lemonade", "Free Candy", "Someone Sick? Need Prayer?", and "Dream Center Loves LA"... Many asked to be prayed over -- to be set free from alcoholism, while others accepted Christ right there on the streets. One older man walked by and caught my eye as he had the cutest little two year old holding one hand and a four year old holding the other. He began to explain that both his son and his daughter-in-law are in the Federal Prison - he wants someone from the Dream Center to go visit them and pray for them. My heart broke. The kids had obviously been put in his care. His heart was evident and his love genuine - but clearly he was too old to be caring for these young children. The kiddos licked a lollipop and patiently waited as their grandfather explained the situation...I just couldn't take my eyes off of them - so beautiful, so innocent. I think I have been pretty thrown off by peoples' receptivity to what we are offering and sharing with them. We live in an age of desperation...people are searching, people are curious, people are thrown off and really intrigued by a love that is asking for nothing in return. I wrestle with this as well - why is my love not more evident in day to day life even back at school...why do people not notice a love in me that is not asking for anything in return? It shouldn't take me handing out a free lollipop... Often times I fail miserably at sharing His love...In fact, I think I may just now be learning what that REALLY means...what it really means to love people daily - for the sake of my Savior. I know I'll forever be learning this concept, but I do feel like I am taking some steps in that direction. Praise God.

As for me...many of you asked just to hear how I'm doing and how you can be praying for me. I am doing really well...but to be vulnerable...Honestly, I have been feeling a little bit exhausted lately. A lot of this amounts to continually being on the front lines. The spiritual warfare that I am facing and that this ministry faces daily is the real deal. There are times when I am overcome by the demonic spirit of oppression that envelops LA...I have a very discerning spirit and it is obvious what is taking place in the spiritual realms when I begin to converse with some on the streets. With that, I am more than a conqueror when I am walking and operating in His Spirit - and there is no greater peace or joy than that. Satan does not like what is going on here, in fact he hates it...and the war that is being waged is evident. This can be exhausting and the minute I slip back into doing things Katie's way...I am done for. Pray for surrender. Pray for the people of LA, this city needs it. Pray for spiritual strength even more than physical strength. Pray for much love. Pray for a teachable spirit. Pray for focus..focus for today. Pray for my time alone, for times of quietness...this has been hard, being a girl in LA is different from being a girl in College Station...and I don't really feel comfortable going anywhere alone - combine this with my independent nature and you understand my need for prayer :)

To all of you - I cannot thank you enough for all of the letters, phone calls, boxes of greatness, emails, and encouraging words. I have been blessed beyond belief. You are too good to me...and everyone in my office is always jealous of my mail...and my roommates love all of you. I love it. You guys are the best.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:3

Wednesday, June 18

Faces & Places I Love


Here are a couple of pictures...Know that the majority of the places where I am doing ministry, it is unsafe and unwise to take pictures...or even to have a camera on you. I wish I could give you a better glimpse at life here, but this will have to do for now...


This is a park right across from the church I attend and down the street from the Dream Center - Echo Park. Very pretty...several homeless people here. The other day I saw a new TV series being filmed out here while we were doing a trash pickup outreach.



I love this little guy, Xavier. He rides my bus on Thursday evenings to church. He is adorable.


The girls in Hollywood one night. Yes, it's cold here at night - love it.


Xavier's sweet kicks. I couldn't resist...they were awesome. That's my boy rockin' the Nikes.


Ohhhh...public transportation in LA, have to love those buses. Adam is very focused on my black jack here...he is on mapquest trying to figure out where in the heck we are. I am just being weird.


This is actually at the beach...not that you can really tell. I love the tall trees though. And I was really excited to see some grass - this is seriously the only grass I have seen since I have been here.

Absolutely crazy kiddos...


This is Diane...one of my most favorite people ever, for real. She works in the office with me and has been at the Dream Center for several years. Simply put - she keeps me laughing.

Monday, June 16

Just an Update...

Where to begin...? Let's talk about cold showers, maybe one of my least favorite things. They occur pretty often around these parts...and you never quite know when you are going to be blessed with one. Haha, somehow I have learned to just get over it, there's not much I can do about it, aye? (Those Canadians and their lingo..rubbing off on me) Secondly, let me tell you about one of my favorite places here..its called "Yogurt Land" and it is simply glorious. If you know anything about me you know that ice cream is the fastest way to my heart. This place has 21 flavors of yogurt...from cookies and creme, new york cheesecake, taro (i dont know what that is, but soo flippin good), peanut butter, etc. Upon entering this place you get a carton (literally, its huge)..and it is all self-serve, followed by a gigantic bar of toppings (self-serve as well) which includes every type of fruit imaginable, cereal, cookie dough, oreos, cheesecake bites..everything. You get the picture - it's phenomonal. Moving on to a more serious note...

The last couple days have been really good. Thursday I was out and about doing outreach in the morning and the afternoon. We had short term teams...and one day we had a lemonade stand on the corner of a busy intersection right next to a bus stop. It was eventful - and I had the most unique group of high schoolers I have ever seen from Idaho. Their youth pastor and his wife were awesome and their hearts amazed me. Youth ministry is such a calling - and the call was evident in them. I love to see and watch people living in the center of the Lord's destiny for their life. Thursday afternoon I was on the food truck...we went to two different sites...providing groceries for people. The truck was loaded down - and I was in the back with some other interns sitting on canned tomatoes. The food trucks travel to 31 different sites each week. I went to the Russian site...you have to watch out for those Russians. They weren't the nicest of individuals...and you really have to watch them - otherwise they try to steal food when you turn your back. Or they will say, "Awww, but you are so beautiful, just ONE more for me!" They know how to work the system. It is so fun to spend everyday just blessing others - what in the world?!!!

Saturday...Adopt-a-Block went well. I'm getting settled into my site and beginning to get to know the people - I feel like the Projects are my second home. I was informed the other day that my site (Imperial Courts) is probably the most dangerous areas of Southern Cali (one of the men who went through the rehab program here told me that the other day). People always ask me if I'm fearful, and sure I have my moments -- but you can't go far around here without being reminded by someone that we have the Holy Spirit. We all know that - but do you believe it? Do you walk by faith into the unknown, into danger? If not, my assumption is you don't really believe...I've wrestled with this. Faith without risks is in fact no faith at all. I met a woman who has seven children...ages 10 and under. The two youngest kids are twin babies that are 3 months old. However, they looked extremely sickly and tiny...I held them, they weighed maybe 7-8 lbs. This was the family's first time to Adopt-a-Block and we were able to bless them with baby backpacks and a bouncer seat. About an hour later I saw this woman pushing her stroller with several of her small children alongside of her as she walked around the projects collecting alchohol from neighbors..vodka, beer, etc. This is when my job becomes extremely hard on me...emotionally. When the children are involved, which there are children always involved it seems...it kills me, this absolutely wrecks my heart. Hopefully I will get to visit with her again next week. Until then, once again - all I can do is pray...

Sunday morning I was back out at the Projects picking up children and families for church on the bus. On the way home that afternoon I was sitting with this little four year old boy, Kevin. He told me of his dreams to be a firefighter and how he was going to be a hard worker. He looked me in the eyes, and said, "One day I'm going to be able to go wherever I want to go, and then I'm going to buy me a house...and it gonna be lookin' clean, I'm going to keep it real clean". There went my heart again - it blew my mind that all this four year old boy wants one day is a clean house...what four year old says that? He then laid his head down on the seat (he said his tummy hurt), I scratched his back and prayed repeatedly "God bless his little soul...keep him for You."

Last night I went to church at Mosaic (Erwin McManus's church) in downtown LA. I absolutely loved it there. It meets downtown in the Mayan Theater...which is a nightclub. The worship was really powerful - church is just way different altogether out here in west. I like it. People are just real out here...add that with the whole "artsy" factor - it's awesome. I loved the environment and the Word was brought. I was sitting there talking with some of my intern friends and in walks American Idol's own - Jason Castro, my friend/aquaintance from A&M. He sat right behind me so we got to chat for a few minutes. There was another Aggie there as well who is interning in LA for the summer...Aggies are taking over the world, I'm telling you. Needless to say, it was good to see some people from Aggieland...it's been a couple weeks.

I'm tired of writing...and I feel like this is just a pretty basic update. I hope today finds you all well - and oh yes...a little shoutout to Joel Upton who sent me some mail last week :) The rest of you - slackers. Ha...just kidding, love you all!

Wednesday, June 11

We Shall Reap...

I find myself today in the office - with not a whole lot to do this afternoon...this is a first. I have found that I like to get in here and get my work done...once I'm in the zone, don't even mess with me. The internet on my laptop is currently not working - so the blog has suffered just a little bit. Hopefully I will find time to get all that worked out soon.

This morning I had a short term missions group...we actually had about 50 people assigned to our ministry, but I had a group of about 15 from Louisianna - it was a group from their church's young adult ministry. Several LSU students and even a girl who just recently graduated from UT. We worked on a local block @ Echo Park which is located directly across from the church. We picked up trash and talked with a few people in the park...yes, serving the community in practical ways is not always glamorous, in fact - most of the time it isn't. Either way, I love it and I enjoyed getting to interact with some of these short term people. In the process of it all, we had to dodge video cameras...they are filming a new TV series out here. These short term groups bring a new and zealous spirit to the team each week.

Adopt-a-Block last Saturday went well. I was in a primarily Hispanic community (50% of LA is Hispanic) and I was wishing I had kept up with my Spanish after high school. Suprisingly I could communicate better than what I thought I would be able to. At our site there was a food truck as well. Food Truck is another ministry here that goes out daily to multiple sites to provide basic groceries to families...usually fruits, veggies, bread, etc. I played some soccer with some little boys - they were super cute. Following Adopt-a-Block all the teenagers from the inner city are bused back to the Dream Center for an afternoon of planned activities (a lot of Dodge Ball goes on around these parts), a free dinner, and the opportunity for the students to shower. They are then taken over to the church service at 5pm. Saturday evenings are geared for students, or as they put it "the young at heart". I wish you could experience one of these services...they are so fun, and you just never know what to expect, ever. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom...

Saturday night after church the young adult ministry headed out to the beach for a bonfire, hotdogs (nasty), smores, Cliff Bars (everywhere I look there are Cliff Bars) and some dangerous games of Red Rover. I cannot tell you how much I love the beach, especially when the sun is setting. I rode with a sweet couple from the church out to the beach - what a blessing. (First of all, they had the sweetest jeep ever, brand new, no top, so California)...but for real, it has been so fun for me to throw myself into the arms of the Kingdom of God. When you up and leave everything that you know for the sake of the gospel and the will of our Jesus - you have to rely on His church, the body - and it's a beautiful thing (I think I have mentioned this before). This is how the Kingdom was designed to operate...in love.

Sunday morning began early - 2 hours before the service was to begin I was on a bus headed to the projects to pick up kids and families. They send out about 10-12 buses and let me tell you - they come rolling back to church jam packed - it's incredible. I really don't know how we get the kids to kids church and then back on the bus without losing any - I was a nervous wreck, but these people know what they're doing. I must add - who knew there was some major traffic on Sunday mornings, what's that about? The projects in LA are just tad bit different from the projects in College Station. There a ton of them. They kept going and going...and one other slight difference - the big, heavy, black bars that cover all the doors and windows. It overwhelms my spirit - to pick up all these smiling faces who are so excited to go to church. Amen, that's a new idea, excited about church!! Somewhere in the process of it all, after church there were several people who got these ears of corn on sticks...covered in butter and hot sauce and sugar -- I thought I was going to throw up, the bus smelled like death...but it was so worth it.

I am settling in here well...I now have 3 roommates...yes, that makes 4 of us in a 12 x 12 room...glory. It is hilarious and flexibility is key. I feel like I share about 10% of what is actually going on here - and usually when I look back on these blogs I feel like it is a really random 10% - but oh well. I am learning so much about my Maker, myself, the beauty of brokeness, the reality of honesty, the joy of relationships, the interesting facets of office dynamics, the value of unity, and the danger of uniformity. More to come on all of these...

I leave you with this - live it out this week...wherever you are, whatever you are doing. This has been one of my repetitive prayers since I have been out in LA...
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, let us do good to ALL, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
Galatians 6:9-10

Monday, June 9

Your Turn

I would love to hear from YOU. Write me:

Katie Tucker
2301 Bellevue Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
90026

I like M&Ms and cookies too.
For real though...your words of encouragement are so precious in this season :) I appreciate those of you who have already blessed me with your kind words. Know that this heart is forever grateful...and how sweet it is to see the Kingdom work.

Friday, June 6

Nick-Nacks

So one day I was in the acquisitions warehouse...also known as the "Gifts and Kinds" warehouse - gathering different items for the some of the basic needs for blocks in our surrounding area. I asked Margaret (the lady who organizes all the masses of donated items, you wouldn't believe how much NICE stuff this place receives) .... anyways, I asked her if she had any little "nick-nacks?" She and Jonathan (who is basically like my boss) turned and cut their eyes at me and were like whaaaat did you just say...I was like you know "nick-nacks." Well, lets just put it this way - Jonathan and Margaret both went through the drug rehab program here several years ago and come to find out - thats a slang drug term. They were like "Katie!! We are not handing out drugs!!" It was hilarious and I felt like the ultimate white girl. (Adam, the other guy intern was unaware of the drug meaning as well, so that made me feel a little better).

I apologize for not writing more, I have been so very busy. Things have been crazy around here. I am so blessed. I have a great balance between ministry in the street as well as being a part of the administrative side. I got a desk and a computer this week and a name tag with my photo ID on it, so I am feeling official. Actually at one point this week during my training I felt like they were handing the entire Dream Center over into my hands - that was a semi-stressful moment, but it only lasted like five minutes. I love what I am doing here. This is what makes my heart beat - so much so that it scares me! Yesterday I went out with a ministry called "Under the Bridge" where we feed hot meals to the homeless. They go out 3-4 times a week (this is just one of the the 200 ministries here). Anyways, I was with some short term mission people and I enjoyed hanging out with them. Some were from LA - one of the guys is an actor who is on General Hospital. What a stud, and how encouraging to hear how God is using him in that very dark industry. Others were from all over the US...To put it simply, I love homeless people. As weird as that sounds, it's true. I love conversing with them. I love to hear each and every ones' story. I should have dyed my hair black before I came out here. The people on the streets are fascinated by my eyes, it kind of freaks me out - but I pray and I believe they see only my Father's love shining in my eyes...I know thats what they see - you believe what you want. I was especially intrigued with this one guy who looked way too young to be living on the streets. He was alone and looked about sixteen...come to found out he is twenty, his name is Cory. He began to tell us some of his story - and wow, this kid has seen it all. He just recently drove here from Vegas. At one point he lived in Texas and he shared his dream of going to Texas A&M. My heart broke...Long story short, we loaded Cory up in our van and brought him back to the Dream Center with us to be placed in our short term Hope for the Homeless Youth housing and I saw him at church last night. This place is serious - they do whatever it takes to get these people off the streets.

There are so many stories already...and I want to tell every single one of them - but that would be ridiculous. One evening I talked to a man at the coffee bar who works in the financial/accounting area of the Dream Center. Ohh the stories of financial history of this place. The Dream Center is run solely on donations from month to month. Each month it costs 600,000 dollars to cover all costs from water, electricity, and food, etc. He explained how incredible it is to watch the money come in each and every single month. This place is debt free.

Last night I was on a bus route to pick up people for our Thursday evening service. They send out multiple buses all over LA on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday for all of their services. It's funny...the driver would just pull up to the different stops and lay on the horn until they came out, but many were already outside waiting. We picked up some of the most beautiful children - they fascinate me. After church this four year old little boy (I seriously wanted to kidnap him and bring him back with me) - he kept looking out the window at the sliver of the moon and asking me, "Why is there only a piece of the moon?" He also told me about what he learned in church - "That Jesus is our Savior". He then offered me one of his cookies and the next thing I knew he was fast asleep. I shuttered when we dropped him back off...all I can do is pray.

In the office yesterday I spent an hour and fifteen minutes talking to a very distraught single mother of four...ages 16, 13, 6, and 21 months. She was in tears the majority of the conversation...her eldest is into dope and other heavy drugs and has been kicked out of every school imaginable - while her 13 year old daughter has recently starting cutting her wrists and is suicidal. How I ended up being the one on the phone with her is a story in itself...just the Lord. It is in these moments that I learn what it truly means to operate in the Spirit - because no words of mine can be of any help to this broken mother. She receives $39 a month for child support...I won't go into any more details - but it is cool to see how the Spirit gives words to minister when you are at a loss. She had no idea I am twenty-one...

Hate to end abruptly - but I have to go to work...I can't even call it work because I love it so much. I'll write this weekend.

Monday, June 2

To the Streets...















I never know how to start these posts...other than to just jump right into what all is going on. Since I last wrote - I have had a lot of time to hang out and get to know the other interns that are here. What a blessing...I am worn out from the ongoing spiritual discussions that we have...these people are so bold, so real, and I am eating up every bit of their wisdom. For a better idea of my newfound friends here you go - a 24 year old who is a Theology major nearly fluent in Hebrew...a guy who is currently enrolled in school at the International House of Prayer (love it), a pre-law student, the cutest girl ever from Singapore, a woman in her mid fifties from England, another guy from Florida who has been through a drug rehab program himself, my roommate who just finished her freshman year up in Seattle and has been assigned to work in the radio department (God is so funny), many Canadians, and weirdly a lot of Australians with the coolest accents. Beyond this, I have friended many who work here at the Dream Center who at one time or another spent a year going through the discipleship/rehab program here...this are the people that intrigue and amaze me the most. I love the way the Word is always upon their lips.

Friday night - we went to Santa Monica which was so beautiful. The beach and the mountains all in one glance...what more could you want? I ended up in the middle of a street performance with a bunch of black dancing men along with another one of the guy interns, Adam. How things like this happen to me...I just don't know - but it was hilarious. I love street performers. It was nice to get out and see some of LA. I wish someone would have told me how cold it gets at night around here!! It's not cold - what have you Texans done to me? But it is chilly. The weather is phenomenal - get me out of nasty Texas now...sick...I don't think I realized just how horrible the weather is there until I came here. My windows are always open, the sun is always out, and the best description is just - perfect.
Ok...I know what you are thinking -- am I actually working? Well, here and there..yes. My official start date is tomorrow and things are about to pick up tremendously. However, it has been nice for them to ease us into the culture out here. Saturday we did hit the streets for the first time. Every Saturday at 10am - Adopt a Block takes place. This ministry is the heartbeat of everything that goes on here and everyone participates. Basically, bus loads of people are sent out all over LA to do humanitarian type work and to just love on people. I went to Skid Row, which is one of the most dangerous areas of LA. To say I wasn't scared would be a lie...I was pretty dadgum nervous a lot of the time we were out there (I guess thats part of the first time). When we arrived there was a line of homeless people waiting for us in order to be fed. We fed them and then walked around the area passing out Cliff bars (thought about you Brooks), water, and Daily Breads/tracks -- asking people if we could pray for them. As we began to walk around, the leader of my group (a very large black man whom I stayed within an arms distance from the entire time) said to me - "we like to get right in there in the middle of everything, in the middle of drug deals, we like to break up those demons. You don't need an invitation Katie, the Spirit is with us." I just looked at him and took a deep breath. Once again, help my unbelief Lord. We saw drug deals taking place - cars driving up to the curb, taking care of business, and quickly moving on. I would converse with some and as we continued to walk I would learn that those were some of the biggest dealers. Deep breath again. Our journey continued to Heroine Alley where once again I was reassured as someone claimed "The Spirit is still here"...Here I believe I met an angel with her two young daughters. She was a believer and before I knew it, one of the Hispanic men in our group was beckoning me to come and pray over this woman and her children. She was very fearful for her small daughters' safety. What an opportunity...how blessed I was to hear this woman proclaim the goodness and power of her Savior right there in the streets, as she pushed a grocery cart with her entire life in it. Who am I that I should be here, that I should have this privilege to intercede on behalf of this daughter of the King? I am His.
I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to minister alongside many who have been where these people have been. They know, they understand, they communicate so well. When any doubt would linger in my mind - within seconds it was like the Lord whispered to me: Look Katie, as you minister you are seeing the very fruit of your ministry through the people that are right beside you ministering as well. Wow. It's been the coolest thing to see here - these people know what genuine discipleship looks like and it is encouraging to see - I believe this is an area that the church lacks greatly across America.
I love this place because they see a need anywhere - and they fix it immediately, I am talking like within ten minutes. Little discussion and much action. Amen. Some more words of wisdom that have been given to me since I have been here .. "Don't ever offer a suggestion without willing to be part of the solution." Woooo...count me guilty...I am full of suggestions, yet much less willing to be a solution.
Until next time...