Tuesday, March 11, 2008

the lost, hurting, widowed, and orphaned

10 "....for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

we are all His children. He cares for you, me and even the forgotten, lost and hurting. The child where you look down and see the soles of their shoes worn or pants ripped and dirty-He cares deeply for them too. Did you ever think, "that could be me?" I never thought really that I could lose everything God's given me, ten any time, I could wake up with nothing. I saw that this weekend in the faces of some of the most beautiful people.
I was blessed to experience a community this weekend where the lost, hurting and forgotten were raised up and loved through serving and quality time....before and above anything else. before themselves, before their needs and desires... This community I speak of was Healing Place Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There they have come up with the Dream Center idea. They took the poorest zip code in Louisiana and bought some property to help feed, educate (through the word of God), and provide church services for every age group in that community. Gary and I were totally blessed by being given the chance to see what a Dream Center service was like. It reminded me of a Celebration Saturday night service. LOUD, INTENSE, and HOLY-SPIRIT FILLED!!!! God shows up through our faith-not the need. At first i was like, man God's here-there's so much he can do. But the more i talked to the precious people in this church, the more i realized he was answering their call of faith. These people had NOTHING. It was the same experience i had when i went to Peru the first time. It's all over the world. My attitude before, sadly, towards the poor and needy in the USA was "they can get a job, all their resources are right here, send me to a place where the resources are zero". what i learned is that they don't just need resources, that's the first step. That's showing their community that you'll be around, you aren't leaving them once they get their meal. You are in it for the long haul, and you are there to show them Jesus' love.
The dream center started off and a place for their basic needs and developed into a Spirit filled worship center. Crime has gone down, children are learning truth, and best of all, these hopeless people now walk with a hope and purpose. There are even ministries there that tend to the needs of widows and prostitutes. they have over 80 widows to help and serve. They are not forgotten, they are not hurting and left to merely survive. They now, are using their circumstance and ministering to other widows, giving and bringing them hope!!!
The most amazing part, didn't take place in the service. It was when Dan took us by the 2 other dream centers God has provided for (there is one more that we didn't see). These dream centers were all over Baton Rouge! HPC didn't even try or plan for any more than one. The community (in one situation) was building another middle school, so they gave HPC all the property to do whatever they could with it. They actually have more room than they know what to do with. A WHOLE MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!! Just gave it to them!!!! HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!!!!
As much as i want to say God want us all to have an abundant life (which is so true), he wants us to be happy and prosper-of course...first and foremost, I believe he wants us to give our abundance to the hurting, lost, widowed and orphaned.
I learned not only the amazing things God is doing through a sister church, but we at Celebration aren't too far behind in this battle to win back the lost. It's in our DNA to reach out like that. That's what we stand for. I'm so thankful that we are in such a huge body that doesn't stop at our church walls. We can go to another church, partner with them and extend the arms of God-not only internationally, but throughout the US as well.
Thank you Lord for opening my eyes to your Great Commission. Thank you that missions are just a trip, but a lifestyle. I pray for reflectors in our church to come out of the cracks, stand up for what You stand for, and are willing to do whatever it takes to win this battle for the lost! I thank you that you already have those plans to fight for our church!


sammie said...

Are these like the Dream Centers in California? My cousin is up to 65 people in his inner-city warehouse approach. He is a new man.

Rachael said...

Yeah, that's where they started!!! In L.A.

Gail said...

Girl...I couldn't wait to read about your trip! I can only imagine how powerful that moment was when your eyes were opened to what God wanted you to see!
It's HIS time; He is opening up eyes and hearts like never before. His body is lit and on fire like never before. And soon, the All Consuming will break through doors of spiritual deadness and bondage and all of the Lost, Hurting, Widowed, and orpshaned will know to whom and where they belong: In Christ Jesus!

Rachael said...

i'm so fired up Gail!