I came to Detroit looking for a change in scenery – spiritually speaking. Almost all of my Christian walk has been spent in the university setting and I was ready to see what it meant to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ in a radically different environment. Detroit seemed to me to be that different environment.
Since arriving in Detroit I have been refreshed with the brokenness and honesty of the people living here. This realization came to fruition while having a conversation with a man after an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He told me how he had finally hit rock bottom trying to control his addiction, family, and life and how all he has to go on now is God’s abundant grace. I have been finding this story over and over again in this city: where individuals, the church, and the very infrastructure of the city has crumbled and they are no longer able to stand on their own.
The “first-world” problems of the college student life, or all the intellectual arguments that I have heard as to why God does not exist seem so far gone when I stand and look at this city suffering from the deeply rooted brokenness of sin. There is a certain humility that I have found in Christians here that comes from knowing how desperately we are in need of God’s grace no matter how prosperous the city we are living in. They have seen that everything man tries to do fails and we have to wait for God’s perfect plan and provision to come through.
This is the very lesson God has been showing me over and over again – I am incapable of doing the work He has for me to do, only God is the one capable to do the work. My work with Detroit Summer Outreach and Street Team has been the means in which I have been receiving this lesson. Time after time this summer I have already seen how the things I have planned have failed, only then to make way for a greater plan that I had not foreseen.
I am very thankful for receiving this lesson because it is one that I had moved away from in getting very good at “doing” school for the past sixteen-or-so years. Working with these high school kids is unlike any exam I had to take or project that was assigned to me, requiring me to fall back entirely on God’s plan and grace to be able to show Christ to these kids. Glory be to God that he can use someone like me in these kids’ lives!