Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I love the city of Portland, Maine. It's quaint, it's artsy, it's even kind of homey. My husband and I spent our honeymoon stage in a tiny apartment in Portland. Our ministries together started there. Robin taught a Men's Bible Study at the YMCA, we had a prayer group in our home, we served at the soup kitchen once per month, we were involved in tent meetings in the summer. I also visited a nursing home once a week and led a choir in our little church (which is really kinda random for me). Portland is nostalgic.
About a year ago we visited an Inner City Ministry called "The Root Cellar." Along with church friends, we played with lots of cute kids for a couple of hours and then went home. Since that time, my daughter has not stopped asking to go back. I'm ashamed it took me so long to set it up, but we now go weekly. And it's awesome.
When we moved out of Portland I was relieved. I never thought of myself as a "city-girl" and honestly we lived in a rougher section of the city. My own comfort zone is living on enough land that you are not on top of your neighbors and you can sit outside and no one else in the world notices you are there.
But being back in the city...I realized I COULD move back there and be very happy.
You know, when you live in a rural area ministry is completely different. The personality of the area is one of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps." It can be tough in a ministry sense as few seem to want to admit they are needing hope. But in the city ministry jumps out at you. There are many more who are desperate for hope. And when you have found hope and want to share it, the city is a great place to be.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:3-7