Monday, December 22, 2008

A Cold night in Pittsburgh!

Just when I think that the boys I hang out with are just using me for transportation or some other means I get knocked back in my place and it all seems worth it. Just over a week ago I was dropping off my last boy and was driving through one of the worst parts of town. Good thing it was about 10 degrees outside and about 11:30 at night so not much was happening. We spotted a girl walking alone and drove past her. I couldn't help it and I told Jamaal that we needed to turn around and make sure she was ok. We made a U-turn and the girl was now on Jamaal's side of the vehicle and I told him he was going to ask if she needed a ride. As we pulled up she declined any help so we drove past and made another u-turn. I figured we tried and was going to drive by. Jamaal looked at me and said, "Chad, you need to ask her again." I let my window down and asked her if she was sure she didn't need a ride. Her voice replied with tons of adreniline running through it, "Are you going to kill me?" Somehow I was able to convince her that we just wanted to make sure she got home safe. She got in the car and we found out that her husband kicked her out and she was going to her grandma's house. I dropped Jamaal off, thinking she was living in the same projects. She told Jamaal where she lived and Jamaal told me it was only a couple of miles away. Well, about 3 miles later up and down the Pittsburgh hills we make it to her project(apartment complex) We didn't talk much other then she thanked God for putting us in her path and each time she tried to speak she started crying so I didn't press.

Jamaal cold me just as I was leaving the project and asked if she got home ok. I told him she did. He then asked me if that was living a life for others, I told him that was. He then said that it felt good to do something like that. I had to acknowledge him at that point as he is the one who told me to ask one more time if she needed a ride. I would've drove right past her as I felt I did what was needed, and if it wasn't for him she would've had a long, cold walk home.

Pray for Jamaal as he is working and trying to figure out what it means to be a "Man built for other's" and to live a life as a follower of Jesus.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's been along time since my last post and I hope it won't be quite so long between my next post. With that being the case and hopefully apologies accepted(yes, that 1st sentence was an apology) here's what has been happening in the life of Chad.

Frankly, a lot has occurred since I've arrived in Pittsburgh. I've met tons of kids, done lots of activities, coached a basketball team, shared many meals and shared the Gospel. I feel like I've seriously won God's lottery. I left a life in Salt Lake City where I had more friends than a person should be allowed. I loved the life I was living in Salt Lake and frankly thought I'd live out the rest of my days there. I guess I should go back to the beginning and tell you why with all things mentioned above, am I in Pittsburgh.

January of 2008, I recieved a call from my friend Jeff Hartings (who moved to Pittsburgh 4 months earlier to continue an inner city ministry) that he needed help and would I consider moving to Pittsburgh to help him. Jeff retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers a year previous and wanted to do full time ministry yet didn't know what that looked like. Jeff and I bonded through his years in Salt Lake City and always thought we would do something together. The problem was he ended up moving back to Pittsburgh. Hence his call.

When I recieved that call I thought to myself, I'd love to do ministry with Jeff but he's in Pittsburgh and I live in Salt Lake City. I'll put him off and eventually he'll find someone else. Time started moving and every now and then Jeff would ask me what I was thinking in regards to coming out there. Friends who knew about this swear I was moving to Pittsburgh, I had no plans to leave Salt Lake. Eventually and I think it was around the end of March or the 1st part of April I figured I better give Jeff an answer. One problem, I hadn't even asked God what he thought of this. (I call myself a Christian and follower of Christ who has a personal relationship with God yet I don't ask about this decision!?!) Well I decided to ask, and even more than that I asked God to leave me without a doubt it was his answer. (see Gideon in the Old Testament) God answered me in a very personal way, in very real terms that I was to leave Salt Lake and do his bidding in Pittsburgh. (I may sound a little vague here but you are more than welcome to talk to me in a personal discussion)

Sure enough, by July I was packing my things and moving to Pittsburgh.

Now back to winning God's lottery. Since being in Pittsburgh for 4 months I've never for 1 second regretted even in the deep recesses of my mind moving to Pittsburgh. I've been given so much peace and love by God that even with not being around my friends and spending many nights alone with not much to do. I've had a peace. To know me, this is incredible. Do I miss my relationships, of course, the point is I think they will do nothing but get stronger as time goes on and most if not all of them know what I'm doing and know that there's nothing better I could be doing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My first post

I'm finally getting my blog set up as a few of my friends have requested.  Please bear with me as I get comfortable with this format.  

Enough of formalities.  I thought it would be a good idea to create a blog and share with my friends throughout the country where I am currently in my journey throughout this lifetime.  As most of you know, about a month ago I moved from Salt Lake City, UT (Go Jazz, Go Utes) after residing there for over 14 years.  God has called me elsewhere and Pittsburgh is now where I lay my hat.  Yes, I did say God called me here, hopefully I'll be able to share more of that at another time.

Here's what has been going on.  On July 14th, 2008 at 6 am in the morning Nick Pensari (some good friends 14 year old son) and I left SLC for a road trip to Pittsburgh.  Nick was an awesome companion for the trip, I know that he might disagree with that but he really was even though he slept and watched American Pie movies for most of the 1st day and 1/2.  What he did for me was push us on, we were in Cheyenne in great time and finished the first night in Lincoln, NE.  Nick was excited to get to Pittsburgh so when I asked if we should stop earlier, and I asked several times, he would just talk about the excellent time we were making and to keep pushing on.  We did.  The next day we drove to Cleveland, Oh.  This was our first destination as we wanted to check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  (I recommend the Seattle Music Experience)  We then left Cleveland around 1pm on the 16th of July and drove the 2 hours into Pittsburgh.  We made it!  1850 miles in 2 days and 2 hours!  The Hartings were excited to see us and we were happy to be there.  They took us to a Japanese Steakhouse and we had a great welcoming.  Over the next several days we showed Nick the city of Pittsburgh and the highlight was going over to the Steelers training facility and touring through the offices and locker rooms.  Saturday came and it was time for Nick to be passed off to his grandfather.  I drove him about 1 hour south of Pittsburgh and met up with his grandfather.  This was actually one of the toughest events of me leaving Salt Lake City as Nick was my last physical connection to Salt Lake City.

Life with the Hartings started.  Now if you know the Hartings you know how busy life can be.  They have 7 young children and Jeff and Rebecca who are constantly on the move.  Throw in the fact that the house they are building was just about done and they were moving in a matter of days made for some long hard days.  I remember thinking that I haven't done this much physical labor in years.  We would start around 7 am and wouldn't stop until 9pm at the earliest.  Things were looking up as I was going to meet with some of the kids in the next couple of days!