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
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.
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.