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Mentoring is Worship

A good friend and fellow mentor wrote the below post on her blog last night and it really resonated with how I feel as well.  She is an amazing woman of God who truly loves this neighborhood. She has been a huge blessing in my life. You can check out her blog here.

“I don’t have anything eloquent to say about the past 5 days. I’m tired emotionally, spiritually, physically. I’ll blog one day about the past 5 days but today, in reflecting on my weekend, I wanted to share and reflect what it means to me to be a mentor to me as partially inspired by Romans 12.
It means walking through the good and bad. It means entering their lives, entering the pain, entering the confusion and loving them right through it. It means remaining a faithful presence. It means rejoicing when they rejoice and weeping when they weep. It means loving until it hurts for the sake of the gospel. It means being patient in tribulation, it means rejoicing with HOPE and it means being CONSTANT in prayer.. It means having your heart broken but then looking to the Lord for hope. Mentoring is one of the responses of my heart to the Lord. To me it is an offering to God, an act of worship. To love for the sake of the Gospel, I am compelled only by Christ.”

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Heavy Heart

I met Sarah last week. She came to my house with a few other girls.  Later that week, I received a phone call from a friend, who had received a phone call from the police officier who works in the local high school, Officier Moreno (who is a believer).  He said there was a girl who has been suspended pending a parent/ teacher conference but she doesn’t have parents. Her mom is in Mexico and her dad passed away. Her sister has guardianship, but doesn’t care about her and she is an A/B student.  It was Sarah. I saw God’s hand at work. I heard yesterday that Sarah is possibly being offered $3000 to drive to Miami with a truck driving. I am fearful this is a sex trafficking ploy. This is just Sarah’s story and I am sure only the surface of it. Let’s not forget about…

-the 16 year old girl who has been sleeping with her step dad (this story is ALL to common)

-the 15 year old who was called a juvinile deliquent by her mother

-the 16 year old who is sleeping with a 35 year old married abusive man

These are stories I just heard yesterday! I have heard countless more of gang rape, abuse, neglect and the list goes on.  I have nothing to offer these girls apart from the love and hope in Jesus. And so I woke up this morning with a heavy heart…

God, bring your good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives.  May these young girls see the profound and deep love with which you love them. Soften their hardened hearts. May they see that I am not just another person in their lives to abuse and mistreat them. I will not abandoned them, because you have not abandoned me. God do a great work here in Little Village.  It is all pointless without you at work in their lives. So Abba, do that, take the scales off their eyes that they may see you as their Abba. Heal them from the pain, abuse and neglect! Grant me favor with them. Oh Jesus come!

 

*Names have been changed

Hanging Out on the Block

If a girl I am mentoring doesn’t have a cell phone it is nearly impossible to get a hold of her. One of the sure ways to track them down and hang out  is to go to the block where they live or normally hang out and join ’em. Here are a few videos of a day Elizabeth (a good friend and fellow mentor) decided to go track down the girls we mentor.

“After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.”” John 5:37

Sometimes we have to go to them.

In the Midst of Life, Don’t Forget to Dream Big

Over the last few days I have been reading all these blogs and articles about lack of “men” in the church. It is a reality, every where I go there are like a million and one single women. I think we as sisters can do a better job of encouraging our brothers. Most of the men that I know I don’t put in the video-game–playing, doing–nothing kind of guys.  In fact, several men in my life have had big dreams at some point.  God-size dreams.  They are dreamers and visionaries. But I know sometimes in the fog of school, life and paying off debt those dreams and visions can get lost in what seems to be “more realistic and wise” or to do with what seems “safe and financially responsible”. There may be some truth in that and I am a strong supporter of paying off debt, but I just want to encourage my brothers (and sisters) to dream big. To not lose those dreams in the midst of paying off debt or going to school.  Sometimes trusting God seems foolish, but God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, right?? Ask God to give you a God–size vision and go for it.  Trust Him with the gifts He has given you. Don’t get stuck doing something safe.  Start pursuing those dreams now. Why wait? I mean what is there to wait for?? To be wiser… then you might be too old and miss the chance. After all, we have one life to live and we serve one crazy, faithful God.

Grateful for God’s Provision

I trust you had a very Merry Christmas enjoying time with friends and family.  The end of the year is approaching quickly. It’s this time of year I spend reflecting on what God has done this past year. Seeing His continual provision and faithfulness, I am blown away by His grace to me. As I think about this past year, I am left in awe. The same God, who provided and guided Moses provides and guides me. The same God who rescued Paul and said go to the gentiles is the same God that rescued me and said go to Little Village. The same God who put generosity in the hearts of saints like Lydia to provide for Paul is the same God who put generosity in your heart to provide for me. I thank God for you.  Thank you for your faithfulness this past year.  As I look back I am constantly amazed at how God provides. He truly does take care of His children.  I fully recognize that it is God who uses you to provide for me. If you are not contributing financially on a regular basis to the work God is doing through me in Little Village would you prayerfully consider giving a special end of the year tax-deductible gift? When God lays it on your heart to give you can simply go to http://www.navigators.org/us/staff/hershberger

As I look into 2012 and beyond please continue to pray that I would see and depend on  God as the source of all my needs, not only financially but also spiritually and emotionally. Please pray specifically as I begin to work with a team of people as we prayerfully create a vision and mission statement for Urban Life Skills as well as policies, procedures and curriculum to better reach the youth in Little Village.

 

How can I be praying for you?

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you,” (1 Chronicles 29:11-14)

Gangs and Politicians in Chicago

To read the remainder of the article click here

Gang Related Murders on the Rise

There is still plenty of work to be done….

 

For original website click here