One week complete

A full week is done here in Los Angeles. This Sunday gave us the opportunity to recharge for the week ahead, while still reflecting on what we’ve learned thus far. First, we started off the day worshipping the Lord at one of our ministry sites, Faith in Christ.

Although I serve at a different ministry site during the week, it was so easy to see how faithful Joe and Gwynn Browne are. It is seen in their loving marriage of over 40 years, but also their incredible ministry. They run a church and community center that provides life, resources, and hope to South Central LA. This morning Pastor Joe reminded us that to grow in Christ we must be willing to confront our issues. This is essential in the process of becoming all that God intended us to be. King Asa in 2 Chronicles was a good example of how we should strive to confront these issues. In chapter 14:2, the bible says “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord.” This provides a good standard for how to check the quality of our actions and thoughts. This message definitely left lots of room for each of us to reflect on the areas of our lives where we need to ask God for assistance in meeting that standard.

With an afternoon off, friendships got to flourish further. Some of the group went to the beach and enjoyed competing in some spikeball and volleyball, while others simply enjoyed watching rising pro athletes compete at the Drew League. This was a nice chance to grow closer and recharge for another week. Before looking ahead, we took time tonight to reflect on the first week. We separated into men’s and women’s groups, but only after we all ate some cookies together. In these groups, it was amazing to hear how the first week impacted people.

For me, the first week really challenged me. It was tough to see how differently everyone experiences “reality.” Our week one topic was how relocating to different areas is essential to understanding the needs of someone else. Relocating allows people to experience similar realities. I struggled with feeling overwhelmed by this topic. As the week went on, I was reassured that relocation doesn’t have to be a drastic thing. Some people are called to make literal relocation changes in where they live, but others are simply called to relocate their conversations or talents. Everyone can make a difference in a way unique to them. God blessed us with special abilities to use for His kingdom. It is up to us to investigate where the Lord is calling us.

Please pray for each of us here to stay optimistic and hopeful for the future. Pray for each of us to lean in closer to the Lord to see where He is calling us. Pray for another successful and enlightening week of humble work.

I also learned a lot at my ministry site, The Ed Center. The Ed Center serves low income families through providing tutoring services at a lower price. This week we assisted in fundraising and getting donations for the summer camp coming up. My biggest realization is how tiring and tedious the “dirty work” of non profits are. It was exhausting getting so many “no’s.” It makes you really appreciate the fearless leaders God has placed in these ministry sites.

Please pray for renewed strength and health for each of the ministry site leaders. Pray for reassurance in their work. Also pray for them to not lose hope or faith, but to lean into the Lord harder.

Christine Jarman
University of Virginia