September 2012 - Vol.  62

Detroit Summer Outreach Team 2012

Dreaming Bold Dreams
by Laura McAllister

Coming into this year’s Detroit Summer Outreach Program (DSO) I thought my Christian life was going well. I didn’t feel like I needed to change my heart in any way. I regularly read God’s Word, I had dedicated my life to God, and I spent time every morning in devotions and prayer. I didn’t feel like my spiritual life was dry, and it certainly didn’t look like that to other people. I knew I was having some trust issues, and I knew there were areas in my life in which I needed to fully surrender to God’s will – but I thought I could deal with them alone.

From day one of DSO I was challenged to examine my heart more thoroughly than ever before. During prayer times I looked into my life and I saw myself – my experiences, my talents, things I’d accomplished. I saw what God had done in my life and the gifts he’d given me, but that was all.

One morning during my prayer time as I sat quietly, I heard a word from the Lord. “Do you believe that I can do a great work in your life? I said, “Sure. You can do anything.” But then God revealed one huge area in which I had not trusted him – my future. I realised that I was holding on to my own desires for my future, I was taking it out of God’s hands and saying, “Thanks, I’ll handle this.” I can now see that I was experiencing fear – the fear of failure. I was failing to trust that God had a perfect plan for my life. My lack of trust and constant worrying about my future was hindering me from fully giving myself to the service God had called me to do here in Detroit.

So in pray I told God I would trust him, no matter what. I told him that I thought it would be very hard for me to trust him sometimes, and I asked him to be at my side to encourage and strengthen me when I felt weak or unable to trust him, and when I felt the enemy attack me with doubts. I asked God to make his presence and love first and foremost in my mind so I’d never forget him.

I have grown in many ways this past summer through learning to trust more fully in God. The first way has been through the work that I have been privileged to do with the youth of Detroit. Detroit is in many ways not the nicest place in America, but God is definitely at work here. I believe that God has put in my heart – and in the hearts of those involved in DSO – a real love for this city and a commitment to serve and care for the people here for as long as God calls us here. We have to dream bold dreams on its behalf and be praying impossible prayers knowing confidently that ‘nothing is impossible for God’ because Jesus loves Detroit … and so we love it as well.

When I walk down the streets and talk to the people, it’s impossible not to recognize that God is here with his people. He is a merciful God who throughout all the pain, hurt, and misery, never abandons his children and continually loves them – a God who uses the poor and the outcasts as examples of what life is truly about – looking to God and relying on him for our lives. Serving the kids here is really worth it – after all, they are God’s children. And I want to do anything I can to see that they have the chance to grow in a safe, positive environment. God has given me a passion for serving in Detroit – especially for the young children and impacting young adults. I know that God called me to Detroit and he has equipped me to do his will serving in this city. I am blessed to be here. God willing, I will continue to serve in this city in the future. Detroit and its people are very close to my heart.

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