(Taking kids from Shaw Community Center to see Black Panther Movie 3/29/18)
By the grace of God, I continue. The last 2 weeks have been something that you only read about and never hope to experience. I was assaulted by someone who named the name of Jesus or as the scripture states, "a false brother." Despite this man being in church and seminary, he had another motive that was not that of Christ, but of self. And when that motive was revealed, his heart revealed itself in violence.
When thinking about what happened 3 weeks ago, it has been common for me to think, "what could I have done better or different." But the reality of this type of work is that serving Jesus is not always "safe." I'm sure that some of the Apostle Paul's family and friends would have said, "Paul, you've been stoned 3 times, beaten 5 times, and in prison more times that we can count. Maybe this Christianity thing isn't working." But Paul had a singular focus, serve God, testify of Jesus, and endure sufferings as a soldier of Jesus Christ.
Someone asked me, was I going to back home. My initial thought was, "Home...I have no home except where Christ sends me." This is true. I left my home and decided that 2018 I would walk by faith, travel the country, and help Black Believers start house churches. I did this without a job, financial backing, or a team of supporters. But I had 3 people, Father, Son, and Spirit, whom I trusted. And thus far, they have not let me down. Because of the assault, I have received help and support from Christian brothers, Social justice warriors, and was even reconciled with a brother who discovered my need. God also provided housing from a wonderful Christian family free of charge. All of this occurred because what Satan thought for evil, God meant for good.
BEING VULNERABLE & WEAK
I am learning the power of being vulnerable and weak. That God will not let those who are totally dependent upon him to ever be ashamed. As I pray that God will lead me to people and teach them to open up their homes for the sake of Christ, I've been amazed of how God answers prayer. God has connected me with believers here that are eager not only to open their homes, but their lives for the sake of the Gospel. I am just a co laborer with them, seeking to use what God has taught me to teach them. And I am learning that more vulnerable I am, before God and before others, the more vulnerable God is with me, in providing and supplying me with the knowledge of his will and the provision to do his will.
I am currently teaching a theology class - free of charge, seeking to pour into the lives of others as God has poured into my life freely. Through this class, I've met wonderful people who are growing in their faith. I have also started an evangelism team, a group of believers that pray together and will start doing evangelism 2 to 3 times a week. And I am still praying and seeking the Lord for the right person/family that is willing to open their homes and life to be part of small house community that can attract friends, families, and neighbors for Jesus. I trust God will provide.
I have a goal of low expectation. The goal is to help create one spiritual home community in DC. After this one, my journey will be complete and I will go to the next location. It is my belief and hope that this one community, with prayer, training, and God's grace, can be so vibrant that it can duplicate itself within a year and also teach others to do the same.
But if I had to summarize my goal in this journey, it would be this: finish the race. I've fallen in love again with the book of 2nd Corinthians in which Paul details his missionary journey experiences. He speaks about the suffering, the loss, the hopes, and his pain. This is the book that contains the powerful passage:
…But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I am learning the power of weakness. And its weird because I am also learning that many of my past sins were a result of either hiding my weaknesses or overcompensating for them. This, in my opinion, was an indicator that I had not yet learned to rest in exposed vulnerability before God. But as I look at my Savior Jesus, exposed and naked on the cross, vulnerable before God and the world, for me - and how his vulnerability was built upon loving trust for God the Father, I too want to follow in that example. Because I am perfectly accepted in Christ before God, I can be weak, vulnerable, and needy, and my God will always see me through.
And to all the brothers, friends, supporters that helped me during my time of need. Thank you. You are the body of Christ and your hands have healed my wounds.
Please pray that God would lead me to the right people who would be committed to open their homes and lives. Please pray for my health, as I am still recovering from an ankle injury from the assault, and pray for my health as I believe I suffered a transient ischemic attack on Monday. (I began to feel extremely faint while on the DC train. I got off only to faint, hitting my head, nose, and lip.) I go to the doctor on Monday.