February/March 2014 - Vol. 72

Living and Serving in Godís City
by Mark Petritsch

Detroit used to be the furthest thing from my mind. Before coming, I couldnít even imagine living and serving here for a year of my life. I couldnít fathom living with religious brothers and working with inner-city kids. And yet I have been serving here since September 2012 and finished with the Detroit Summer Outreach program.

Before arriving in the Motor City, my relationship with God wasnít very good. I hadnít fully given God a chance. I grew up in a Christian family in New Jersey with good and faith-filled parents. I always knew God was real but I was more concerned about how I could get blessed than how I could bless others. I was selfish and I wasnít ready to sacrifice everything for God. 

One day around last June, I received a text from one of my youth leaders telling me about a program called Standing in the Gap and encouraging me to apply for it.  Following his good advice, I applied and got placed in Detroit: probably the last place I wanted to go. However, God had a plan and when I look back I realize that this year has been amazing and Iíve received many blessings from the Lord. Iíve learned a lot, but Iíve also realized that I have so much more to learn.

Detroit used to be the furthest thing from my mind. And now it has a special place in my heart.  Iím living and serving in Godís cityÖand I wouldnít want to be anywhere else.  God sought after me Ė I didnít seek after Him. And now I know my need for God and the importance of having a relationship with Him! What a great adventure the life He has for us!

[Mark Petritsch grew up in the The People of Hope community in New Jersey, USA. He did a GAP year serving with YouthWorks-Detroit between August 2012 and July 2013. He is currently a student participating in University Christian Outreach (UCO) in Lansing, Michigan, and participating in a UCO menís household.] 
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