This past week, Tara and I had the tremendous opportunity to take a team of eight high school students down to Nashville, Tennessee to work in the city's Rescue Mission, an organization devoted to serving and rescuing the homeless. There's a lot I could write about in this post -- God's incredible provision, the wonderful team of Christian musicians who housed us for the week, or my infatuation with Spaceteam -- but I want to instead remember the names of five men who touched us.
All smiles and encouragement, Quinton ("Q") was perhaps the brightest point of my week. A man who loved the Lord, did all that was requested of him without hesitation, and spoke earnestly of God's grace in his life, Quinton was a humble and earnest example of what grace can do in penitent hearts.
A young man who bared his heart to me, Brit is still looking at an uphill climb as he struggles to overcome his addictions. However, I believe that God is glorified when we choose to struggle against our sin, out of a desire to surrender all for holiness, instead of succumbing to it. Brit's testimony was a powerful reminder that all sin is a type of addiction, and addiction to self is perhaps the most difficult to overcome.
Bryant, the volunteer services coordinator at the Nashville Rescue Mission, was our guide for the week. He is a graduate of the Mission's program with a powerful testimony of his own, and is now thoroughly invested in working to assist the homeless and addicts who walk through the doors of the Mission on a daily basis.
Soft-spoken and unassuming, Will is a hard worker who humbly asked us to keep praying for his submission to the Lord's will. He was a joy to work and converse with. I'm reminded that he loves his wife and child, both of whom support him in his decision to overcome the addictions in his life.
Of all the men we worked alongside, George weighs perhaps the heaviest on my heart, simply because he has recently re-joined the Mission's program and still seems to have one foot in the world. Quick to admit his mistakes, George was impressed by our group and spoke openly about his weaknesses and failures, but still seems like he needs to take more bold steps of faith in order to overcome them. I trust that the Spirit will lead him to a deeper understanding of the Truth!
God has been merciful to all these men. Each was on a path of self-destruction, but our Father snatched each of them back and placed them on a different trajectory. Their stories are proof of the fact that no sin is too engrained to overcome through Christ's power.
To Him be the glory!