An ongoing story of God's work on campus: God is real, Jesus saves, and you are loved, always.

Team LA-AX: Day 4

Hey Everybody! This is Conner! BOY do I have a lot on my heart that I need to tell you! This trip so far has been very eye opening and God has been teaching me so much about how he loves us and takes care of us. And no matter how hopeless things seem, God is always there reaching out his hand to pull you out of the dark.

Day 4: Technically this happened last night at 10:30pm to 2:00am and I am just in charge of writing for today, but I still count that as today because I just really want to share about the experience I had working with Broken Hearts Ministry. This ministry had us working with the “broken hearts” of the darker corners of Los Angeles; these broken hearts consisted of drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, and transgendered. Antquan is one of the leaders of this ministry and he told us all about how broken these people have become through abuse, drug use, etc. and how the one thing they are desperately searching for is genuine acceptance. He explained how their ministry is based on sharing God’s Love and sharing the Gospel with these people by building relationships with them, listening to their stories, and accepting them as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Pastor Ed talked to us before we went and said something that really hit home, that every person you see out there is another person that Jesus Christ died for. With that in mind, we were sent out in the downtown streets of Santa Monica Blvd in groups of three to initiate conversation and share Love to the “broken hearts” that were populating that specific area. This was a bit difficult for me because I had no idea how to relate or even imagine some of the struggles and issues that some of these people had been through, but God was able to use us there to be listeners to their stories and whatever they wanted to tell us because they rarely get anyone who cares enough to listen to them, pay attention to them, and care about what they have to say. Once they knew you were genuinely interested and truly cared about what is going on in their hearts and in their lives, they almost immediately trusted and bonded with you and shared their life stories, most of which were unbelievably tragic. One particular story I heard was from a woman who refused to be called by her real name, Helen, and much rather preferred Big Mama. Big Mama at first seemed to be very distant, harsh, and disinterested in having any conversation with me or with anyone for that matter, but after a few attempts of beginning a conversation, I was finally able to break through the shell by complementing her on her awesome New York jacket, which she got from her new boyfriend who she really cared about, she went on to say that he wasn’t her first boyfriend…

Big Mama then told me about the 3 times she was raped, the 2 miscarriages she experienced, and the drug addictions and alcoholism she had been chained to in her younger years. I was in shock. I prayed and prayed for God to tell me what to do, how to react, how to relate! But then God just calmed me and told me that being there and listening and genuinely caring for this woman was the best way to show her God’s Love and to show her that there is forgiveness and mercy through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. PRAISE OUR AMAZING GOD that Big Mama has actually been working with Broken Hearts ministry for a while now and has accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and through Christ she has been able to overcome those addictions and issues in her life.

Through working with this ministry and hearing the stories of these wonderful people, I am just reminded how powerful God is and how he can take something broken, beat-up, and thrown away by this world, and make it into something beautiful and new.

Thanks for reading, I know this isn’t exactly a recap of the day’s events but God was really calling me to share that. If you want to hear more about what this ministry is about and what’s been going on, you can hit up their website at http://www.brokenheartsministry.org/

Stay tuned to this blog because I know God isn’t done teaching and using us on this trip!

God Bless!

Conner Buenting

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