Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dirty laundry and making disciples

It all started at the Redbox a few days ago.  I was looking for a movie that my blue eyed beauty asked me to bring home to her as she was I'll at home and resting in bed.  A young lady approached me and asked for a couple dollars to buy food.  When I realized the movie I was seeking wasn't there (apparently mormon written vampire movies are VERY popular) I asked the girl if she would like to accompany me to the grocery store around the corner.  That way I could hear a little more of her story and know more precisely how to help and pray for her.  At first she said yes, then changed her mind because her boyfriend was waiting and he was the jealous type.  "No biggie" I said, "I'll be right back".

I came out of the grocery store, drove back over to the long-stay motel where they were lodging and parked my car by the curb.  Her boyfriend stayed behind as she approached my car so I called him over to help us get the bags of groceries. His face had a look of curiosity and concern but as he took the bags in hand his face lit up with thankfulness.  He invited me up to the room but I declined because I needed to get home and care for my wife who was waiting in bed at home, very ill. I thought it was a missed opportunity to share the gospel in word along with the deed.

The next day I was at the laundry mat and depleting Mt. Funk in one quick swoop.  As I was finishing up, the same lady came walking by.  She thanked me for the groceries and shared with me how she has been asking all day for help to pay for their room for one more night.  They were getting put out and the boyfriends paycheck from work tomorrow would come a day too late.

Julio (the boyfriend) escorted me to the office where we got them accomodations for the night.  Again, he invited me up to his room.  This time I couldn't pass it up.  I rushed back to the machines, pulled out the remainder of my 7 loads (now Mt. Fresh) and headed to room 206.

Julio and I had a nice conversation.  He's used to having what he needs and working hard to get it.  This was just a bad week.  He'd been out of work for a week and to top it off someone stole $900 from beneath his mattress.  He shared how he had lost hope asking people for money and help because he was denied so many times.  He couldn't take anymore heartless rejection.  So his girlfriend was out doing all the asking, and he was glad she did.  "We've asked lots of people for help and only came up with some change, we see you only two times and you not only help but meet all our needs."

We talked for about 30 minutes about who Jesus was and is.  We spoke about the two different kingdoms that he was now realizing existed.  "I'm gonna pay you back" he says. "No, I would rather if you took that money and gave it to someone else in need.  I'm only one person here working to build Jesus' kingdom.  If you do the same there will be two and those you help can do the same and then one and two will become many.  You see?"  "Yeah, that's good" he replied.

I've had the opportunity to serve several people that have been staying in this same motel.  I have been thinking about renting a room there occasionally to get to know the regulars there better.  Now I don't have to.  Julio has invited me in to have a Bible study there with him and his neighbors today at 7:00.

Many times we make discipleship out to be more than it is.  We tend to overlook the everyday opportunities God gives us and then schedule and plan times to disciple others.  The goal is to learn more about the needs in the community and how we can meet them, share the gospel and be making disciples who make disciples.  I'm really excited and I hope you will be praying with me that God continues to do marvelous things as He builds His Church!  If you live in the area and would like to join me in this, please contact me.  My contact info is in the sidebar.

Coming up:  my conversation with our 7 year old son about Julio, catholic church, and Jesus alive and at work today while he ans I folded Mt. Fresh together.

15 comments:

  1. Bobby,

    Awesome! There are no other words to describe it. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. When we serve other out of our love for God and them, it become easy to bring Jesus into the conversation. I'm praising God for your example and for what he's doing in the lives of this family and their friends.

    -Alan

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  2. We're praising God together bro! I am so thankful that He has given me the privilege and opportunity to serve Him by serving others. His grace is never ending.

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  3. Truly awesome. A great inspiration for all us, especially those (like myself) who sometimes feel like they don't have what it takes to make a real difference sometimes.

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  4. Jon,

    it never ceases to amaze me how Christ takes the things we consider insignificant and makes them effective in eternal ways. One of the marks of His great majesty.

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  5. Although one question, that my wife and I were discussing the other day, is how do we know that we aren't going to be putting ourselves into danger by doing certain actions? I suppose it is 'perfect love drives out fear'? To be completely honest with you I would have been a little weary about entering their motel room...

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  6. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I mean you obviously did the right thing, I'm just curious as to what thoughts were going through your head at the time :)

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  8. Jon,

    definitely a valid concern. Reminds me of a few months ago when my wife was behaving like a crazy couponing nazi and we collected bags and bags of personal hygene items and stacks of bottled water for free. She made up these care packages and would give them away wherever she went. That stopped dead in it's tracks when some men (from this same motel) made inappropriate advances toward her.

    I think I would want to outright forbid my wife from doing what I'm planning to do. To be honest, I'm a bit uneasy but still looking forward to it with high hopes.

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  9. I honestly wondered why he would invite me up. Drugs and prostitution are prevalent there so that could have had something to do with his original intent. I expect that, actually.

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  10. Mark,

    you're welcome. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  11. Bobby,

    My feelings exactly.. thanks for making me feel like im not the only one :) My wife told me she was concerned because she heard a news story of some homeless man attacking another man that tried to help him recently, and i try to help the homeless when I can.

    Jon.

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  12. Great story! You are willing and available--'nuff said....God will take care of the rest -John

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  13. ok first off: Yeay for the new Twilight movie, LOL. Second, I can NOT believe you called me a coupon nazi. Third, it was NOT advances that happened to me (that I could put off) it was outright groping. That said, I think that when you do seek and serve the lost it will be dangerous, the apostles got run out of how many towns, were stoned etc. So while it's scary and while I don't want to put myself in that position again I'm not sure how you can DO the great commission and stay safe. However, I am perfectly content holding down the fort while you go get movies, do laundry at the mat and talk to random dudes at the hotel. :) I love you sweetie and I AM really proud of you. (even if you call me a nazi)

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  14. Jes,

    I am soooo glad I married you. You make me smile :)

    Thanks for the clarifications, and for your support. You can now go back to reading "mein kampf" :P

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  15. Lord, please open Julio's eyes and his girlfriends eyes to see their need of forgiveness and only Jesus can forgiven them and that they turn from their sin to Jesus.

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