August 1, 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
Sometimes in ministry it feels like we can go days and weeks, even months, without anyone we have invested in showing signs of growth. Too often we have to watch with tears and prayers as people we love repeatedly make decisions that can only end in disaster. But then, occasionally, God allows us a glimpse of the work He is doing on the inside of that person and there is great hope in those moments.
Andrew has known James for a long time and has shared some of his story in previous letters. Having been involved with World Impact since he was a young teen, James, now 24, accepted Christ over a year ago. As Andrew’s wife it has been great to be able to participate in their relationship. Many days he will walk up to the Ministry Center and make his first stop at Andrew’s office and then head downstairs to sit in my office and talk about life and writing. We connected over our love of writing and he occasionally brings in pieces he is working on for my feedback. He knows that along with my literary feedback come my opinions about his relationships and life decisions.
Since James accepted Christ he has struggled with giving his life fully to the Lord. Despite our attempts to draw him in to a Christian body, he has spent much of the last year tentatively stepping back and forth between his old life and a life in pursuit of God. Lately, Jason Watson, a Christian rapper who grew up here in North St. Louis and our fellow staff member, has also taken James under his wing. James’ poor opinion of Christian rap began to change when he got to be an extra in one of Jason’s newest music videos and seeing godly men who share his passion for words and music has seemed to spark a deeper interest in James.
One afternoon recently James made his way down to my office to talk. He shared about a possible job opportunity several hours away. This led to a discussion about his future, and about his past, and about the fact that he was tired of the aimless pattern of his life. I asked him what he would like to see himself doing. “Become a lawyer” was his answer; “but no one takes me seriously when I say that.” We talked about what it would take to pursue a degree in law, but mostly I talked to him about a life wasted when it is not in pursuit of the plan God has for us. Two days later he returned for my edits on his latest poem and told us that he had just signed up for Fall classes at a local college (I tried to act proud in a cool and reserved way instead of gushing with excitement like I wanted to do).
We are encouraging him to begin walking out on faith and to prayerfully consider the direction God has for him. My hope is that with each step James will gain confidence in the gifts and talents God has given him and that he will become more and more burdened to use them for God’s Kingdom. Please pray for James. Because of his life experiences it is difficult for him to trust people and to push through the hardest times. Pray that James finds excitement about what his future may hold and that God would give him the wisdom and strength to make each decision along the way. Pray for the financial resources and the educational support that will be needed for him to pursue his education. And most importantly, pray that James will fully commit to living in the encouragement and accountability of Christian community. As always, thank you for your continued support and prayers!
For His Kingdom,
Andrew and Adria Medlen