Where My Calling Began....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I wanted to share with you all how my passion for inner-city ministry got started. I wrote the following story, essay, letter...whatever you want to call it when I finished a summer mission trip called the Fresno Urban Internship. It was a summer that changed my life. There will also be some awesome pictures from that time in my life :)

The whole family for the summer :)

How was my summer?

            Amazing. Life-changing. Eye-opening. Heart-breaking. Frustrating. Revealing. Challenging. Uncomfortable. Perfect. Imperfect. Lovely. I saw truth. I caught a glimpse of what life could be like if we all decided to listen to that still small voice, to actually do what the Word says. I got a snapshot of what God’s Kingdom is like. Living in community, sharing food/cars/..even beds. Sharing space and sharing our lives. Listening to each other and praying for one another, sharing the Word, impromptu worship, deep convos.  Investing time in one another and in the people of the city.

Process Group...people who helped me figure out & understand everything 

           I learned that loving my neighbor IS loving God. When someone asked Jesus what the most important commandment is, he says Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself. That command is ONE command, not two separate ones. Once you love your neighbor, it seems like your faith becomes more complete because you are actually doing what God says. I’ve come to realize that as Christians we are called to be in love with everybody. Love should saturate everything we do. Even when it’s hard or inconvenient, we have to love. It’s by our love that people will notice a difference in us and wonder what motivates us to love the way we do.

The Pink House! Learn more here.

        I lived on $35 a week for food and gas, I got my cell phone once a week for three hours, I had no computer….No Myspace. Surprisingly that wasn’t an inconvenience; it gave me a freedom that I never felt before. I think that the more stuff you have the more you seem to worry. I also think greater bonds were forged without all the stuff.  I walked everywhere which gave me the chance to talk to my neighbors every morning. I worked with amazing kids who broke my heart and made me fall in love with them. Something inside me just melted when they would be excited to see me and give me hugs. Sometimes they frustrated me and made me want to give up. A friend told me that when it reaches that point, that is when it is most crucial for the Kingdom.

Awesome kids I worked with at Youth for Christ

            I learned even though I may be a messed up, imperfect person God uses that to reach out to certain people. All my experiences, my pain, my wounds, my joy, my triumph has molded me into a person that makes me able to serve God. I saw that I have past wounds that still need healing and as God heals them, it will bring healing to others as well. My past has prepared me for the future and God will use it for His glory. “And I am humbled to see that out of the twistedness of my wounds, he designs for me a special place of service” (There is the Kingdom). God has made me the way I am for a reason. I have to embrace that and realize that I am a person worth being cherished. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). I deserve to be treated well. I learned that I have a voice. I learned that I need to take a stand for myself and for what is right. There’s no more riding the fence and no more accepting the mediocre. No more being a door mat and letting people walk all over me or rope me into things. I have a voice and something worth saying.

The Keeler Girls :) my awesome roommates! 

             I learned that I have been color-blind my whole life, that everything that I’ve been taught about race has been skewed. It’s really ok to notice that people are different from each other. We’re not all the same. We are all human beings and God got pretty creative when he made each one of us. I think that God relishes in the differences between us. I saw that racism is still prevalent in the city and in the systems of society. Just a thought from my notes: “Racism is the denial that all people were created in the image of God.” Saying that one race is better than the other is in direct contradiction to the Word of God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).  Through learning about race and racism, I am on a journey to find out what it means to be white. What is my culture? What does it mean to be a Norwegian American? I wonder if I’ll ever know since nothing has ever been passed down from generation to generation.

The City :)

            I learned the truth about immigration. It’s ugly. It’s unfair. There’s no justice. People die trying to cross the border just so they can work like a slave. They get the jobs that no one else wants and do not even receive fair compensation. Sometimes, they might not even get paid for all of their work. Immigrants don’t just come here to steal American’s jobs or take their health care. They come here because there are no jobs in Mexico that can support their families. Coming to America is their last resort. So many people are ignorant about this issue, I was too before FUI. Now, I want the world to know the truth.

I met my hubby that summer. I'm in the gray(oh so attractive!) and he's in the red shirt. 

           FUI rocked my world, flipped it upside down, and I can never live the same. Living in community and literally loving my neighbor just felt so right. While I was there, I just felt like this is how life should be. Even though it wasn’t always easy or enjoyable, it was so worth it. While I can try to explain my experience, it will only just be skimming the surface.  It can only be fully explained in the way that I live my life from now on.

Oh P.S. FUI stands for the Fresno Urban Internship, which was the internship I did this summer in downtown Fresno.

I hope you enjoyed this long look into my calling...but I felt it appropriate to share since this is where it all started and where I come back to whenever I need motivation :)

-Megan :)

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! I was ingrigued by your mention of Inner City Work and am glad to have read the back story. It's amazingly close to my own (even meeting my husband!) except that mine was in Mexico, which led me to the same convictions you mentioned with race. Thanks for this refreshing post and reminder to look at the problems right in front of us, here in the US.


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