Monday, June 13, 2016

Man, I really blended into the bustling life of Chicago when I arrived with my list of things to get done and places to go last weekend.  It's been a whirlwind of a schedule since Friday but I appreciated every minute of it!  I'm officially hired by Chick-Fil-A and just went through orientation yesterday! Thank you all for the prayers so far!  I can see God working throughout our midst as we minister to others and build each other up as a team.  Just tonight, one of our team members banded our group together to collectively give to another member in need.  We ended up raising way over the needed amount which goes to show how caring and compassionate our team really is!

As I finished up my first week here sharing on campus, handing out supplies to the homeless, and preparing for the week ahead, I've been reminded countless times of God's providence.  One of the staff mentioned this name after talking to Theresa which was "Jehovah Jireh" (the Lord will provide).  Jehovah Jireh reminded me of the story in the Bible about Abraham sacrificing his own son.  Before ascending the mountain Isaac asks Abraham, "Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" (Genesis 22:7) and he replies, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."  If you  aren't familiar with the story, it starts off with God asking Abraham to offer his son for a burnt offering. Upon reaching the place God had chosen, Abraham demonstrates his faith and obedience by building an altar, binding Isaac, and placing him on the wood. Before Abraham can finish the offering, the Angel of the Lord calls to him from heaven, and Isaac’s life is spared. Then, “Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son” (Genesis 22:13). Abraham named the place “Jehovah-Jireh” because of God’s gracious provision of a substitute for Isaac.

Notice that Jehovah Jireh is not “The LORD Did Provide,” but “The LORD Will Provide.” In other words, the name does not simply memorialize a past event; it anticipates a future action.  Jehovah-Jireh provided a sacrifice to save Isaac, and that action was a foreshadowing of the provision of His Son for the salvation of the world.  And I'm so blessed to be able to spread news of His providence this whole summer.  There are thousands of people in this city who are in need of this good news, whether they're homeless or are consumed by greed and worldly things.  They all need Jesus' love and grace, including myself.

Below, my prayer requests look a little different than before.  They're for specific people that I got to enter into a spiritual conversation with consisting of students, staff, and the homeless.  I went to campus twice this past week to talk to students and I spent my Saturday (with my lovely mother) putting together bags of Target supplies to hand out to the homeless on Michigan Ave.  This week has stretched me like no other spiritually, mentally, and physically (walking a TON).  However, this week has also grown me spiritually, mentally, and physically (it's a big city...).  What little training I've had so far has made me all the more confident in sharing God's love to the scary awesome humans of Chicago!

Prayer Requests: 
(Some of the names are not disclosed for protection and privacy)

  • Wally from Dubai who is a Muslim student I talked to on Wednesday.  He had a hard time communicating with English but wanted to meet up again this coming week when his brother would be able to help out.
  • Jessica, a student from Syria who I also talked to on Wednesday.  She was pretty standoffish and guarded.
  • Natasha who is a med student in the process of taking the board exams.  She struggles with doubt in her faith and has no time for church or growing in her relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Sarah who worked at the university library.  She was of Muslim background.
  • Ryan who was a homeless man we gave supplies to.  He had lung cancer and had three months to live.  He's very weak and actually keeled over while we were praying for him.  He had a relationship with Jesus Christ and it really showed in his words and actions.
  • Joanna who was an older homeless lady we talked to.  She was a widow and was trying to raise money to get back home.  She broke into tears sharing her story with us and has had it pretty tough.  She was a very strong Christian and I gave her one of our booklets to share with any more people in need she came across.

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