“Coastlands, listen to me; distant peoples, pay attention. The LORD called me before I was born. He named me while I was in my mother's womb.” (Isaiah 49:1 HCSB)
I can remember last year at this time, tossing and turning in my bed as I pondered the question presented to me, “Why do you have to go to New York to work with the homeless?” I can remember finding the answer to that question behind the Red Bowery Doors in lower Manhattan, near Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty, in the land of the ‘no-eye-contact’ people and cast systems that defy even the logic of their own thinking; Upper East Side, Bronx and so on. I can remember that special someone who helped me stay the course and travel to a place I’d never would've gone on my own. I remember and am humbled by her strength.
Shannon helped God awaken in me a realization of a future where the work wasn’t quite what I had thought and is definitely more extreme and more challenging and more terrifying. By encouraging me to go into that place, far from where I could effectively and quietly escape, she helped God present me with His purpose, His challenge and His mercy. And as much as I’ll miss sharing that teammate feeling with her and will miss the energy that consumed her and all those around her while we worked in the Mission last year, I look forward to the new teammates that are undertaking this adventure to be a part of the work God’s doing in the Manhattan bough of New York City.
I have a charter to do for the University today, a short three hour shift and then its off to collect a donation to support this trip from my Pastor of the church plant I attend on Sunday night . After that, its off to see my children for a few hours since they’ve been gone visiting their mother during their spring break and I’ll not be seeing them for another week as I go off on this mission’s trip and they get an extra week off work because babysitting didn’t come through as expected. Then I’m going to explore the relationship that I left hanging with Vineyard Church by participating in their “Rotating Shelter” for the homeless of Washtenaw. After I get home, I’ll pack the borrowed bag I’m getting and get a few hours sleep before I go to Trinity to ‘catch the bus’ over to WCC to get the rest of the team with Dino and Joseph, the other two drivers and teammates for this journey.
In a little more than twenty-four hours, the Mosaic A2 team will depart the environs of Ann Arbor Michigan for the distant, coastal lands of New York State. Some are old hands; Joseph, the team leader and Dawn, a few others. The majority are ‘newbies’ who bring talents and skills to this year’s team that make it as unique and God-designed as last year’s was.
Keep us in your prayers, both for the trip there and the arrival.
I think I hear the faint call of God beckoning me to those Red Doors.