Dec 20, 2006

the club

Today I finished my last day at the Boys and Girls Club. What started out six months ago as a 30 hour a week job became something of a mission field for me and to me. By serving in an inner city environment I really ended up finding God enlarging my heart and developing in me a value to keep myslef and family exposed to diversity. Even if it wasn't an overtly Christian environment, I really was a recipient and contributor of making the most of every opportunity for Christ.

The experience was not without its laughs, though. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from kids in the club:

(A 4th grade boy named DaQuary comes running in and rushes up to staff)

"Look, I have a pimple! I'm starting puberty! I can't start puberty!"

(same boy as before)

Him: Today's a bad luck day. Everyone is going to do awful in the spelling bee!

Me: There's no such thing as bad luck.

Him: There isn't?

Me: No. And there isn't any good luck either. The Bible says that God trumps everything.

Him: What do you mean? Why do people say it?

Me: Because people try to explain life by good or bad luck as if things happen by chance. But there is a very real thing happening all around us. God is bigger than any of that stuff.

Him: (pauses and thinks) So if you have God you don't have to worry about bad luck?

Me: Right, because it doesn't exist. But life might still be hard... the cool thing is If you have God in you then the devil has to flee from you when you ask him to.

Him: Cool.

(Ja'won, a young boy wants to help me open up the computer lab)

Him: Can I help you out?

Me: Sure, come on in.

Him: So did you have a good week?

Me: I did, thanks for asking. How about you?

Him: Well, yeah... except for yesterday.

Me: Why?

Him: My parents were arguing again. I don't like it when they fight. (puts head down)

Me: You know what? Let's take a break from turning on the computers. Sit down for a second.

Him: Okay.

Me: When I was a kid sometimes my parents would argue, too.

Him: Really?

Me: Yeah... and I didn't like it either. One night I decided that if I ever got married one day that my wife and I wouldn't fight like that. If we had a disagreement, we'd talk about it and work it out.

Him: Hmm...

Me: And I have to tell you that because of Jesus, that's how it's been for us. We both love Jesus and know he loves us, so for the past 12 years that's exactly the kind of relationship we've had. If you want to one day, you can choose to treat her that way, too. And let me tell you... Jesus definitely helps you.

Him: (long pause... nods head... he gets it... and a future family maybe just got a little healthier)

I can tell you a lot of stories like this, but perhaps my favorite one is that I loved bringing my school aged son (my other one is too young) with me a couple of times a week to hang out in a "broken" environment (then again, what isn't a broken environment). It was such a cool thing to see him form friends without any regard to skin color, and to see the other kids do the same with him.

One day we were getting ready to leave, and my oldest song asked, "Dad, could we bring some of our music about Jesus with to the club today? I want the kids to hear it so they can know about Jesus, too." I nodded my head, and then he asked, "And then could you tell the kids that I have an announcement and then I could tell them all about Jesus?"

"Poor kid," I thought. "He doesn't know that things don't work that way... people don't respond to such awkward altar calls. At least, that's what all the research says."

But I responded in faith... and let him... and the research was wrong... because that day I came to Jesus again... just like all the other days.

Tip of the hat to the Boys and Girl Club... and for Jesus working everywhere and anywhere.


BarBarA said...

Wow, I cried at this post. Not sure why exactly...I think it was the last part when you started talking about your son.

I'm so thankful that there are people like you and your family out in the world touching lives...thanks.

Jessica said...

i worked as program director for 9 months at a boys and girls club - loved it - horrible management - but loved the club. it's amazing how attached to the kids you can get.

A Look Into Kenny's Life said...

Keep it up Pastor Tony. I like the call god has laid on your heart...Medina should have one...enjoy it.

A Look Into Kenny's Life said...