Lord you know my heart. I know that you say that to be fearful is a sin, but right now I am scared. I know the emotions are real and I need your power to have confidence. I do not live in a good neighborhood, I’m hearing more gunshots every day and they seem to be getting closer to the house. I’m not involved in anything where I should get shot but random shootings have happened as well. Several months ago we backed our car out of the driveway to see a failed attempt at a cocktail bomb. Weeks later we got clues as to who had done it, and yesterday we received confirmation that it was who we thought plus another man who is to be released from jail soon. These guys are repeat offenders, guys with records of violence, theft, home invasions, and all the like. They would not feel remorse for taking my life, they have already tried. My life is yours Lord, this life here on earth is already over in my head…but my heart says there is still more to do, to see, to love, to live… Your will is perfect and good, help my heart to align with your will.
For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
It seems I cannot focus on anything that I should because I’m so consumed by this aching fear, please take my fears away. I trust you but cannot escape the countless stories of brutality and abuse so close to home. I hear about abductions, rapes, murders daily and it is making me literally sick to my stomach. I feel as though I cannot talk to anyone about it because of either their judgment or unbelief. I’ve lost faith in having a confidant so I turn to you, O God, for YOU are my true friend. Help me God, I need it to continue.
I've always (& still do) see living downtown as a ministry opportunity. The people, the movement, the serious NEEDS...there is SO MUCH to be done, SO MANY to reach....when I think about it in the right mind-set (God's), I am needed here. With so much darkness and danger surrounding me, I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit like I did in Africa. Amidst strife and what should be fear, I SEE & FEEL GOD. It is a bittersweet emotion/feeling. My humanness tells me to run without looking back, but I sense the Holy Spirit calling me to stay. Hardly how I would want, but its not about me now is it?
I get a lot of flack from family & co-workers about living in the 'ghetto'. "How can you live there? Aren't you afraid? Its not a place for a girl like you..." Blah blah blah. It irritates me to hear this from Christians - O Ye of LITTLE FAITH!
Heidi Baker pioneered Mozambique by herself while the war between that country & Portugal was still hot and angry. Like me, it was "no place for a girl" like her. One night as she was driving to the neighboring city, she was stopped by 'guards'. The took her money and held a gun to her head. If it were you, what would you do? What would you say? She said, "You cannot kill me, I'm already dead." What an answer! She trusted that God had a plan, even if it meant for her to meet Him at that very moment...and she was NOT afraid!
In comparison, Modesto hardly meets the danger of Mozambique...I know because I've been there too. But for some reason, I felt more safe in Mozambique. This may sound trite, but I don't mean it to: Africans seem to already know how to live below poverty, but Modestans have suffered much because of the economy and do not know how to live with less. I can almost feel the anger, bitterness, resentment of my neighborhood as I walk through it. The sense of desperation is in the air and more people are dying than before. And their need for God seems to be the last thing on their mind. Its disappointing, but the need is GREAT. "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Luke 10:2