So, I intended to have this blog have structure, timing, a theme, basically any sort of pattern, but that just hasn’t turned out.
I think that this blog just has to be me sharing what God puts on my heart to say and share.
I feel that God gives us specific thoughts that he intends us not just to keep to ourselves.
This is what is on my heart right now:
This is a city that is world reknowned for it’s music, it’s legends, it’s culture; however, it has shocked me.
There is very little of the neon lights, big city feel that I expected here. Mostly what I see? Poverty.
The amount of empty buildings in this city is positively astounding. I never imagined buildings this beautiful to be abandoned, many for what looks like years. I never expected to see so much need for police enforcement and safety precautions. I assumed it to be another one of our great southern cities. It is, don’t get me wrong, but entirely different from what I always believed Memphis to be.
I had the awesome privilege of attending Fellowship Downtown for a sabbath celebration yesterday. An awesome guy, John Carroll, who pastors at the church told us a lot of shocking facts about our mission field for the week. Memphis used to fulfill all of my expectations. Every thought an idea I’d had of this city used to be reality, but it seems over and over and over again, Memphis has downfalls. Poverty, sickness and depression strike and this awesome city gets shut down again, hanging on to a very last thread of a breath. It’s sad to see. John informed us that Memphis has the worst educational system in the state, ranked 49th in the nation, and that if Memphis were a city in Mississippi, ranked 50th, it would be the worst there as well. This essentially states that Memphis has the worst educational system in our nation. This was a HUGE shock to me.
The people here are beautiful.
I want to show them Jesus.
I want to know how to do that well.
I want to be his hands and feet. So badly.
Today, I met Ms. Joyce. She had the light and the love of our savior inside of her, without question. She runs an afterschool center for children in the Robinhood apartment homes, in the very heart of poverty stricken Memphis. She knows all the children by name and they listen to her, without questions. She’s essentially grandma to them. We had the privilege of cleaning & organizing as well as actually tutoring and playing with the kids of the neighborhood. That meant so much, that we could be part of what Ms. Joyce and the Neighborhood Christian Centers are doing for Memphis. They are doing big things for the cause of Christ.
I don’t think I went into this week as serious as I should have.
I tend to view missions as having the need to be much past driving distance, but this is just as good as any other. God has so blessed Clemson FCA in bringing us here. I think he has big plans for our group throughout the rest of the week and I can’t wait to see them unfold.
Here, I have to give a shout out to Group 11, AKA “The Best Group on Planet Earth.”
I have never had the experience of serving with 12 other more honest, open, easy to relate to people ever. So, so thankful that they have been brought into my life. They are family now.
So this is where you come in reader.
Pray for us.
For strength, clarity, openess to opportunities, fearlessness and courage.
God has big things for us.
Nous servons Dieu imparable,
p.s. As I’m getting more and more into photography I want to share! So here are a few shots! (to see more look at my facebook or download any for free from my mobile me gallery http://gallery.me.com/erwall/100015 coming later this week!)