Thursday, December 10, 2009

One Less

Recently Andrew and I were returning from a weekend out of town.  Tired and ready to be home we drove off Highway 70 toward our house.  Looking around I took in the brick buildings, the tall white water tower with paint peeling, and I was comforted by its familiarity.

However, it wasn't long before I saw a new landmark, a pile of teddy bears, a memorial marking the place where someone had died.  In the city this is a common way to honor lost family members who were killed through violence. 

I've seen many of these memorials, but something about this one seemed shocking to me.  I felt unsettled by it and profoundly sad.  We had only been gone from the city for a few days, and yet we came home to a community with one less person.  There was one less father or sister or son--one less loved one.  Did this person know the Lord?  I pray so, but there is now one less opportunity to share the love of Christ with one of His creation. 

I don't know how long that memorial will stay in place, but every time I drive by it I am reminded of the urgency of the Gospel and the brokenness of this world.  It makes me yearn for the Lord's return, and yet, there is so much work to be many who do not know Him. 

I am reminded of the quote by D.L. Moody in which he says, "Winners of souls must first be weepers of souls."  Working in the city can sometimes be heartbreaking, yet the victory of our Lord needs to be proclaimed here.  I pray for even just one more to be added to the Kingdom.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Update

December 1, 2009

Has a full year of calendar pages already been turned? We pray that this letter finds you well and experiencing the love of our Savior in this Christmas season! A new year is upon us, and it seems as if this year, more than others, has flown by. We want to take a moment to reflect on all the marvelous things God has done this year.

Although we have shared with you the great challenges we have experienced, this year has also been one in which God has revealed Himself at work in our lives through His strength and grace. With much growth and awe, we have watched Him answer prayers, surprise us with unexpected blessings, and come through when we could not. Here are a few of the things that God did this year:

• God proved faithful in Laniecha and Patricia’s family. Patricia came to know the Lord and continues to pursue a better life for her family.
• God provided a group of local college students to run our spring-break program when our usual groups had to cancel a month before.
• We were blessed by a core group of youth involved in our summer program! Through the program great relationships were formed, and two young girls came to know the Lord!
• We witnessed one young man mature in his faith this summer. He is now meeting regularly with one of our missionaries to do Bible study and be mentored.
• We were encouraged when we reconnected with a young man whom Andrew has known for many years. He was part of the Bridge of Hope youth group and came from a very difficult family life. He was transient, and it was difficult to stay connected to him. He has worked hard to overcome these obstacles. We visited him on campus as he experiences his first year of college!
• God laid it on our staff’s hearts to focus on young adults this year and opened doors for four new outreaches: Monday Night Football, Chess Club, High School Basketball, and Sunday Night Bible Study in our home.
• We were able to move to another World Impact house a few blocks away that has more space and allows us to host people more often.
• We are continuing to see opportunities of growth in the men who faithfully come to our adult basketball outreach.
• God continues to provide for our staffing needs. We have gained five staff members this year.

These are a few of the ways that God has proved faithful to us and to this ministry this year. We pray that you are able to look back and see His hand at work in your life too, even in the midst of life’s challenges. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. Your faithfulness accomplishes much as we together serve our Lord and Savior!

Merry Christmas,
Andrew and Adria Medlen