A few weeks ago Pelham’s Varsity and Junior Varsity baseball teams came out to provide and serve our Sunday downtown meal. This was the third time they’ve helped with the meal and they’re coming back later this month. Lee Moore, the team chaplain, and Coach Anderson have made it a priority to not only teach the guys about serving and loving others, but also giving them tangible ways to put it into practice. We had a great time with the team and were able to spend some time talking to them about what we do and how we’re seeing so many young people on the streets struggling with drug addictions and other serious issues. We’re excited about having the opportunity to continue serving alongside these young men. Here’s a quick word from one of the players about his experience downtown with us….
“Urban Purpose allows people an opportunity to view poverty first hand and in a local setting. This lets a person make a direct difference in someone else’s life any and every Sunday. My teammates and I took advantage this past Sunday and I believe it was an eye opening experience for all of us. People from every socio-economic background and age possible were there; this showed me that poverty affects everyone from all walks of life, not just one type of person. After helping in the dispersal of food we had the chance to go and talk to the people there. I met a man named Ha’Rod, and he was a former veteran originally from North Carolina. He told me stories of different occasions in his life ranging from his high school football days to his time serving in the Army. I was able to exemplify Christ’s love by simply listening to this man and serving the many others. Without Urban Purpose I would not have had the opportunity to share Christ with this man, so I believe Urban Purpose is used by the Lord to make a difference in people’s lives, both the servers and those being served.” -Austin Moore
Our new Urban Purpose t-shirts & hoodies are on sale now!
Long-sleeved shirts: $20
Preorder Hoodies: $35
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order yours today!
Support our ministry by buying your Urban Purpose shirt or hoodie today!
All new shirts are long-sleeved and are $20 each. You can pre-order your hoodie for $35.
To order your t-shirt or hoodie, email Emily Grace (email@example.com) and let her know what size and color you’d like.
We had a great group of 10th graders from Shades Mountain Baptist serve downtown with us yesterday! Here’s a word from one of their teachers, Adam Plant…
Service requires serving. That is simplistic, but fundamentally true. I help facilitate a tenth grade Sunday School class at our church and, for the past month or so, in our class and as a larger church family, we’ve explored themes like generosity, sacrifice, and taking steps to put faith into action. Our time to serve the meal with Urban Purpose aligned perfectly with what we had been discussing. Everyone in our class—student and leaders—contributed toward funding the meal. I was really pleased with the faithfulness our students showed when they made their contributions of their resources; our 15 and 16 year-olds gave of their best and did so enthusiastically.
I also admired our students’ contributions of their time and talents. As leaders, we served alongside our students; many of us brought our own children to serve, as well. Everyone chipped in. We passed out snacks and bottles of water, and tried to make the folks we were serving feel welcomed. The fact is, the work is not hard. Children from age seven and adults decades older than that filled a role. But that’s sort of the point of participating in the mission of Urban Purpose. Volunteers do small, discrete tasks to help Jim, Mark, and Emily Grace open doors into the lives of some people who haven’t always gotten a fair shake or made good choices. This work is not about doing everything for everyone. It’s about doing something for someone. And it’s worth it.
I think it’s safe to say that this week has been insane. Each day has been filled to the brim with doctor’s visits, counseling, office construction and absolutely everything in between. We’ve given out clothes, coats, and shoes along with a lunch or cup of coffee here and there. We’ve rehashed old conversations and jumped headfirst into new ones. We’ve duked it out in old relationships and laid some groundwork with some new folks. It has been a big week with plenty of tangible outcome.
We meet a lot of physical, tangible needs in what we do; the intangible, on the other hand, is much more subtle and sometimes easy to overlook amidst the busyness. While we do meet physical needs, we also cover each day in prayer asking the Lord for changed lives and hearts. This change is gradual and can be tedious, just as it is for each one of us. Despite a busy week, there have been so many moments of clarity that can’t be denied as the Lord’s hand at work…
Earlier in the week, Jim, Mark and I were standing in our office with one of the women we work with when she paused and said, “Do you guys realize how far you’ve come?” Without realizing it, this lady was amplifying how faithful God has been (and continues to be!) to Urban Purpose. He is growing our ministry and we pray that He will continue to bless and lead us. It’s pretty cool stuff when someone whose life is so difficult points our God’s faithfulness.
Another woman we work with is dealing with some pretty heavy stuff right now. She struggles in many areas and lives her life in darkness. She does not show interest in a relationship with the Lord, but there have been conversations lately that show glimpses of hope. We know that our prayers are heard and that God ultimately has victory over all. We claim that the same power that raised Christ from the dead can and will change hearts. Though steps are small, we rejoice in the moments when hope can be seen.
We’ve been pretty silent this week because of the busyness, but didn’t want to miss an opportunity to share how God is moving. He is good and faithful and we are so grateful for reminders of who he is and how he is working!