Monday, January 11, 2010

philadelphia -> a mission field


i have been sitting here typing and deleting things for a while now. i have no clue where to begin, or even what is safe and appropiate to share on a blog! my heart has been stretched and broken (in the good way) in the last week, as joe and i have been pouring our time, love & efforts into a family here in philadelphia. i have heard stories that i know are easier not to have heard...i have been in situations that i know are safer not to have been in...i know life was less complicated before i met this family...and yet i find myself unable to shake the thought of them, and not desiring to have not known! for to have not known would be a tragedy. to have not known could have meant death!

joe and i reflected on the story of the good samaritan yesterday.
"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coinsc]">[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' " Luke 10:30-35
not many people can relate or even understand the heaviness on our hearts, as the story of the good samaritan is not a 'real' story, but only one they have read. to us it is real! the man beaten and left for dead, he has a name, and a family. we know where he lives (for the moment), we know his thoughts (at least the ones shared), we know his needs.

it's hard to find the line between being the samaritan who stopped to help and the priest/levite who walked by on the other side of the road.

don't get me wrong, this isn't an "all work and no play" situation! we have learned to love this family, and to enjoy the friendships begun. and with all the stories of brokenness, we also see a glimpse of hope and renewal. i watched a man go from being hardened because of his desire to be wanted/accepted his whole life, to have FAMILY, break down and sob because another person with no obligation to love him sincerely told him, "i love you, man!".

i have seen god moving and working through my husband (a true joy and honor!) and he's been able to use his past experiences and trainings to council others. i have been reminded of why we chose philadelphia as our mission field.

i have heard some say that philadelphia isn't a mission field. i challenge the thought! in fact, i would love to talk to you if you think this way...

please pray for our family as we continue to love our neighbors in the city of brotherly shove.

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