So tomorrow is the kick off of the Life Remodeled my second Detroit mission trip this year! I'm super pumped!!!
Typically I spend most of my time in Detroit in southwest Detroit, though I really do love it all (I see the beauty) and hear the never dying heartbeat. And it's easy to love the waterfront and midtown but I challenge myself to look past the weeds and overgrown everything, in the fire ravaged homes, to the faces. To the faces of those who have been left abandoned, to the children who have been left to fend for themselves. For those who have been victims to abuse and the cycle continues and they become the perpetrator, because they never see anything different. I see the hope in the eyes of those left to fight for this city, fighting first on their knees in prayer. Oh Jesus, please come to them, all of them.
I drove down Joy Road today, a road I have traveled a lot of my life. My gram lived on West Chicago and Joy Road so that is the way we took to see her and my grampa. (I felt this crazy overwhelming desire to bring the fire station that I've driven by 6000 times ice cream, so I brought 3 half gallons, caramel, and waffle bowls)
It looks different and in some ways the same. The Dairy Queen is now a BBQ place. Herman gardens (the projects) is now torn down. You can see some history here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Gardens
The houses are smaller and some of them are sooooo cute.
Shhhh.... Can you hear that? That's the sound of children playing in that park that's being cleaned. It's safe for them, and they are free to giggle and put down guard for just a minute to be free. That's hope.
Close your eyes. See that teen who wants to be a nurse? She wants to care for those in her community. Her heart has compassion, and it hasn't been stripped by this ugly cruel world. That's hope.
See him? He's smart! He's gonna be an engineer. His mind never turns off, he wants to know how everything works. He's gonna do it! Education and people breathing life into that young man. That's hope.
Remember the day when the fire truck visited the school and that little boy was Enamored by the shiny red fire truck? And the smile of the fire fighter who protects him? He's going to do that someday. That's hope.
And that beauty over there? She's gonna be a momma. She's gonna be the safe place in the neighborhood for all the kids. She will be a great momma, the kind she always wanted. That's hope.
And this week, it's my small part in it. It's not much, but it's my offering.
And dad, when you wonder why I want to move here, or why I love this city, it's because you gave me a safe place, and taught me to serve. So you, and Jesus, it's all your fault ;)