Team LA-AX: Day 9
WOO~ DAY 9!
Hey yo, this is Julie with the closing LA-AX 2012 blog.
Although I’m sure you reeeeally wanna read about all of the super interesting travel details of today, I’ve decided to write about the week looking back.
I know I speak for everyone when I say that being able to work alongside such a Spirit-filled ministry as Hope IBF was a blessing. This week I was reminded repeatedly of how much I can learn by just sitting and listening to people tell their stories and how God has worked and continues to work in their lives.
One recurring theme that struck me throughout the week was the idea of taking life one day at a time. I think God was definitely trying to tell me something, because the morning after we arrived at Hope, Pastor Ed quoted Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And nearly every day following I would see an example of this verse lived out.
For starters, as mentioned in previous blogs, every day we receive a couple of HUGE shipments of food. From that day’s shipment of “spoiled” food, we were supposed to figure out what we would eat for the day and also what we would serve to the homeless for the two daily serving times. Pastor Ed made it clear the first day that we were to set aside food only for that day, because otherwise most of the food would spoil by the following day. When we focused on one day at a time, God literally provided us with our daily bread.
Following up on Conner’s blog, my group went out with Broken Hearts on Friday. That night I met Big Mama and her boyfriend, Raoul. I spent a good portion of my evening talking with Raoul and listening to his story. He had been in a gang, shot at, stabbed, suffered from multiple addictions, attempted recovery numerous times and overdosed twice. As of now he’s clean, and he thanks the Lord for where he is. He said the phrase “I know God is with me today” a few times during our conversation, and it really got me to thinking about what he would put it like that. Eventually I realized Raoul referred to “today” because each day was a fight against his addictions and his past and that he had to be reminded of God’s grace and mercy renewed daily in order to remember God’s presence in his life.
Another story that hit home with me was Ben’s, one of the men living in Hope’s transitional living. He grew up in a successful family, went to law school, and even passed the bar exam. But he developed addictions to heroin and alcohol that left much of his life broken. Even today he says he’s in the process of repairing his relationship with his wife. He’s been clean for a while now, but he said it’s definitely not easy. He confessed that he has to make a conscious effort to reach out to God in order to fight deceiving thoughts of addiction just in order to make it through the day, and start up again tomorrow. One day at a time.
That’s all I got, folks. Although taking life one day at a time isn’t the biggest and newest revelation, I think as a culture we tend to get caught up in the idea that everything about our lives and futures has to be planned out and predicted beforehand, which I’m learning is a mindset that can catch us off-guard. Thanks to God and this mission trip, I was reminded to take life a day at a time knowing God is with me, regardless of how large or small my struggle may be.