Monday, January 25, 2010
What is inspiring about ministry? What stories do we here that touch us the most? The ones we came up with are the one were people have made a huge change in peoples lives. Such as getting out there and converting gang members or druggies. The ones reaching out the sucidal girl that lives next door. The stories about the older man going to preach at the prison and murders turning from there sins. These are all amazing stories of love and and Gods healing. We began contimplating what was the difference in our work here? How can we be so discouraged about it at times? I am here today to inspire you. I want you to know what you have been supporting and helping that i didn't even realize till i stepped back and saw all these people through Gods eyes. Our ministry through Gods eyes. Lets start with a guy i have been working with for a while. He is one of my best friends. He is a narcotics user. He is trying so hard to clean up his life. He doesn't know whether to live for god or not but he knows that's who i live for and he wants to surround himself with that positiveness. He messed up and falls constantly and doesn't know why God hates him. He called me the other night late and was like i need to come over and i need you to take my keys so i can over dose on narcotics. He came over and i took his keys and we just sat and talked and i watched him cry and hurt and feel guilty for things he has done. I see hope in him. Throw the tears he shed his heart is breaking for something real. Something like god. We have at least 3 drug addicts we are working with. There is your druggies. Here in California we have girls that are hurting from relationship and are partying and using achole as a escape. They have gone to church all there life but don't know the true hope of there own unique relationship with God. They struggle fall on there face hurt and die inside while i sit there totally sober and hold there hair and put them to bed so there wont drown in there own vomit. They know i am different. They know they can always call me. I am there helper and healer. There is your alcoholics. Here in California a family has started coming to our small group. Her husband is in jail and she has two kids. He is in jail for murder and she hurts everyday. To make it worse she lives with her mom and the shed that keeps all her belonging just burnt down to the ground. She has been stripped of everything. Through us talking and supporting her she was baptized and is now giving her husband the same kind of healing and help and talking to him about christ and he is super open about and stoked about God. There is your murderer. Here in California we are working with these people that haven't showered in ages. They have been living on the streets since they can remember and they have no hope. There bones are poking out of there bodies and there biggest worry is about freezing at night. These people are not just older men and woman but kids and teens all alike. There are children here were this is just a reality they have to fight to stay alive fight the cold. There are older men and woman who should be in nursing homes or hospitals who can barley walk who are fighting for there life and bending down and cleaning and sweeping for just a meal. These older people cant barley even walk and they are doing manual labor for food and a place to lay at night. There are teens who are homeless and joining games and getting into big addictions all because they have no were to turn. All these people want is for you to look into there dirt covered face dirt all the way embedded in there wrinkles and ignore the fact that they stink and look into there eyes there hurting eyes and say i love you. I have hope for you. Can i point you upwards. There are your homeless and gang members. Here in California we have families that are dieing from divorce. Girls that are not eating cause its a way they are in control. Moms that are broken cause there husbands left them. And boys that are trying to lead there family's at ages of 15 and 16. They don't see the healing god brings. There are your broken family's. We have it all here in California and more. These are your inspirations. These are all people that we are working with. These are all true stories. God is doing big things here and through your support and prayers he is living here in our lives and planting seeds in others lives. He is bringing hope, love, and healing. Thank you. I cant thank you enough for giving me the blessed to have my heart broken with the ministry here. To see people how Christs see them. That is a huge thing. God is good. Thank you.
Here in California we dont only have hurting people. We have people that are turning there lives around. Who are wanted to live for a better cause. Who are serving and trying to be like Christ. Who need discipled on how to lead there peers. The have a gift the gospel that they want to learn how to be equipped with so they can share. They don't want to see there friends dieing they want to see them come alive. These people we are also working with. There is hope here. God is here so much.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Some of my fondest memories are from the homeless meals so there will be a lot of stories from those. My first story from the homeless meal is based around a little girl. She had huge blue eyes and scraggly blond hair. She was about 6. She was running around playing with her brother. I wondered were she had come from i hadn't seen them before. As we gathered the homeless in a circle to help meet there physical needs with cloths and stuff we started asking who needed what. I asked who needed socks and the little girl walked up and asked if she could have some for her and her brother. I handed her to bags and watched as she joyfully went back to her seat with the excitement of a child when they open an amazing present on Christmas. Here and her brother in enthusiasm, excitement, and awe held the socks like they were the best present on earth. I smiled at her and then thought of how blessed i truly was. How many kids to i actually know that would be excited to receive a pair of socks. None in my book. This little girl had true beauty of appreciation. I saw her every few weeks at this meal. We then started having the meals 2 times a week. I saw her on a Tuesday. I was sitting handing out sweets to the homeless as i admired the adorable little girl. I glanced over and saw her guardian.. not sure to this day if it was her mom or her grandma but none the less she took care of this girl. Her guardian was over in the corner talking to the lead guy of the homeless meal. I over heard her speaking of putting the two kids into the system. I looked over to see where the little girl had gone. She had wondered into all the old cloths and found a torn up dress and high heals. Hear eyes just glowed. She was a princess in that dress. The prettiest girl on earth. God little princess who didn't know any better but living on the streets. A tear ran down my face thinking that little girl has no clue what is going to happen to her next. She was content with where she was that little princess. I wish i had a camera to take a picture at the very second and capture this memory those eyes i will never forget. She is so precious to God and she is his princess no matter what any one says. Gods little street princess in rags. She was the most pretty girl i had ever seen cause i could see her heart at only age 6. This was one of the prettiest things i had ever seen in my life.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Who would have thought a year being in Cali would change my life and heart forever. For those of you who don't know me I am Ashley Rector and just got out of a program called AIM (adventures in missions). I am 21 years old and got chosen to go to California for a year and a half to work with the church down there. Little did i know this experience would change my life forever and open my eyes to things i have never seen and feeling i have never experienced. My heart misses it so much. I just want to be with them even though i know God has other plans as well for me we will see were they lead me. Through this blog i will show and tell how important Cali was to me through photography, writing , art, and songs. I have amazing memories that will be shared through this blog from meteor showers and the beautiful river to dieing homeless men and women with no hope in which we give them hope. From drug addicts breaking down and finally getting there life together to laughter of youth and many bonds that can never be broken. From death to beauitful new life. From tragedy to joy.This blog will have many crazy sad stories and many joyful stories. I hope to portray all my time in California. This blog can not tell all i have learned, seen, or experienced but i want to thanks everyone who helped me go to California and work there by this collection of blogs. I love you California i will return to you some day. Smile when you think of me. You changed me life.