Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why I do what I do!

This is taken from an email I wrote to our staff the other day and I've been told several times that I should blog this, so..... "Like most of you, last night (6/5/12) I barely made it up the steps into my home. I don’t remember the the last time I was so worn out and tired. My muscles were tightening up and I had a cramp in my hand that wouldn’t go away. (That’s what I get for not keeping myself hydrated yesterday.) I was questioning why we do what we do and with so many events over the past month and a half I’ve been getting physically and mentally tired. I’ve been praying for the Lord to give me strength and to renew my soul as I’ve felt myself losing my resolve and call to the NorthSide. I know that the Lord called me to this place and he hasn’t given me any new calling. (Which means if I want to stay in his will then I must “Stay the course.”) In other words I was tired and the enemy knew it! Now, let me tell you what the Lord has done in the last 24 hours to renew my soul. These 3 things that have happened in the last 24 hours are why we do what we do! Without each one of us working together I’m not sure how this would’ve worked out. As I think of each of the stories I’m able ready to write, I can’t help but think of each and every one of your hands helping in making these things work. I’m just a recipient of seeing this last part and thus I have a responsibility to share this success with the rest of you to let you know that what you are doing is changing lives! Yesterday afternoon, Jeff Steele took Jeremy to a job interview with Pat Cady’s company, CIS. Jeff worked with Jeremy to prepare him for the interview. He practiced with on potential questions, made sure that Jeremy looked the interviewer in the eye and made sure that he knew how to shake hands. He also let him know what type of questions to ask the interviewer should the opportunity arise. Needless to say Jeremy got the job! (There’s so much more to this story but this is a God send for Jeremy) This job is a career opportunity for Jeremy. Tom Kreider introduced Pat Cady to me earlier in the year. One other thing happened that opened started to renew my soul. I spoke with Jeff Steele last night as he was excited to be part of this and he told me that Jerome wasn’t sure what he was going to do prior to this opportunity as he didn’t want to go to College (Jeremy has said this to me since he was a sophomore in high school) and Jeremy felt since nothing was on the horizon that he would settle for going to ACAC and if that didn’t pan out than he may have to try the 6th option which is turning to the streets to make a living. Because Jeff Steele was able to help out with this process, I was able to hear personally what is going on in some of these students mind as they start to navigate their futures. I couldn’t help but think of all the people who’ve been involved, just in my mind in Jeremy’s life at UIF. Forgive me if I miss a few kudo’s but I think of Nehemiah, Jeff H., Seth, Pastor Ed, Ryan M., Jason B. and Tom Kreider. I know more of you were very indirectly involved with him as well. Thank you, thank you and thank you! Next thing happened this morning. Last week one of our old students posted what I saw as a call for help on facebook. I called him last week and we shared a meal so he could share with me what’s going on. Basically he told me that he was doing things to earn money that I didn’t want to know about. I was able to share with him the consequences of those actions and the paths he was heading down. I was also able to get him to look at what at he has to show for it. (basically he has nothing to show for all the money he’s made over the last 2 years other than a bigger belly) We left our meal and let him know that once he’s ready, let me know and I will help get him “up to speed” in life and we can reverse his downward spiral and he become the man who God intended for him to be. He left me saying he wasn’t quite ready but he’ll let me know. This morning I received the text letting me know that he’s ready to move forward in life. I’ve known this young man for 4 years now and I actually cut him off and for him to let me know that he’s ready to move forward on his own accord and to initiate the move is huge! I can’t help but think of others who’ve been instrumental in this young man’s life, Pastor Ed, Seth, Nehemiah, Jeff H., Jason B., Ms. Gayle, Gregg Friday and I’m sure many others. Right after that text I received another text from Steven. I’ve been hearing from some of the “guys” out there that Steven wanted to come and see me about helping him enroll in ACAC (Community College). I told them to give him my number and to have Steven call me. I didn’t pursue Steven. As some of you may know, many of us have pursued Steven only to be disappointed on many levels. Tuesday afternoon I ran into Steven and he told me that he needed help. I gave him my number and told him to call me and we’ll get together. I’ve had this happen to me many times and anymore I just forgot about it. As I said earlier, pursuing Tevin has usually been wasted effort. Well….this morning Steven texted me about getting together to work on getting him enrolled at ACAC in the fall. I believe him this time as he’s initiated this. Please pray for Steven as he’s been part of UIF for many years and many of you have been involved with him. I can’t help but think about Tammy, Pastor Ed, Josh, Ruthann, Seth, Nehemiah, Jeff H., and I’m sure so many other of you have been part of Tevin at one point or another.(Just thought I'd let you know...Steven showed up for his appointment and we completed his Financial Aid papers to attend Community College!) This why we do what we do! Last night we cast a net! Some of these will make it to our outreach programs and then they will become part of our team or discipleship programs and finally they will come to Ruthann or myself and we will help them navigate the Option program. We are making disciples! I spoke with Jeff Steele last night and I told him about an open gym and it would be Urban Impact rules. I asked him what that meant and he immediately said, “Create a Loving Atmosphere”. I then asked him if he’d go over it with the guys before we play basketball tomorrow and he said “Sure!” With that being said, I now know that we are making disciples and with that knowledge God has refreshed my soul! To all my friends, family and supporters thank you also.

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