Reaching Out

This weekend my family and I joined our church for an outreach in the projects of Lawton, OK. I had never been there before and was unsure of what to expect, but since our preacher had prayed for God to send us the gang members to minister to I figured we were in for an interesting day. We had heard talk from others on whether or not we should bring our children because of course no one wants to put their babies in danger. I’m so happy we chose to take ours! I want our children to see what the world is like and learn how to go out and serve. I feel like we also instilled in them that we trust God to protect us when we are in dangerous situations. Shortly after we had arrived and started setting up the cops came. We had several officers walking around all day openly holding their firearms and we were told that seven unsolved murders had already occurred in this area since the first of the year! I will admit when I saw and heard this I began thinking what have we gotten ourselves into but as soon as the people started rolling in I relaxed, put a smile on my face and prepared to serve. We served hundreds of burgers and I placed what felt like 10,000 pickles on the buns! That may be a little bit of an exaggeration but it was definitely a lot! I met so many people that blessed my life today! The children of this community were so excited to have us there. Not only was there food but there was bouncy houses, face painting, bike giveaways, and live music! Our Breaking For Jesus Team also put on a demonstration for the crowd. This is a martial arts team who do exactly what the name says. They break boards, blocks, and bats all while telling people about Jesus. I was very excited about this event because my husband and boys just joined the team and everyone did an amazing job! I had the honor of sharing my testimony during the show. Let me tell you I have not mastered public speaking! I feel my stomach hit the ground every time and my body trembles as I speak but I’m doing my best and I will improve! It’s always a little scary to lay your life out on the table in front of a bunch of strangers but it’s so worth it! I was completely overwhelmed by how many people came up to me and thanked me for sharing. I was even asked to do a radio interview which I not so gracefully stumbled through but I survived it! Shortly after I had a beautiful young woman approach me and she told me that my story had spoke to her heart. She began confessing to me that she had struggled with a cocaine addiction for a long time but was afraid to tell anyone because she was embarrassed. I wish i would have had great words of wisdom for her but I just felt led to hug her and told her yes some people will judge you but more people will support you then your mind lets you believe. I got to visit with her for a few more minutes and I thought she was so brave coming and admitting her struggle. I also met so many gang members, addicts, single moms, and beautiful children. I think what amazed me the most was how polite the scary gang members were as they came and got their plates. I can’t remember one of them not giving me a “yes ma’am” or a “thank you ma’am” as they passed through the line and yes some of these guys put chills down your spine because you could just feel a life a violence radiating off of them. This politeness
in itself shows me that there is hope. There is always hope that people will change. I honestly don’t even know the words to describe how in awe I am of this day except to tell you that God is in the projects of Lawton, OK.

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