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May 2012 Archives

Our First City Challenge Week

Wow, was our first week of City Challenge a blast, the sophomore class from Kingsway Christian School stayed with us for a week of an intense yet fulfilling time here at the RIC. It was a very very busy week although it was so good. The Lord was moving in BIG ways. Our God is so amazing. I have seen him working in everyone of the kids that came. They arrived on Monday morning, all we had scheduled for that was orientation and hanging out. Tues. was a big day for everyone. This was the day we had our Prayer Challenge. Kingsway divided into three prayer groups. Each of the staff were posted at a specific location around Columbus that the groups had to visit. Each place had a different objective that focused on prayer- such as praying for all the men, woman, and children trapped in sex trafficking, the homeless, our leaders in government, and also immigrants coming into  the U.S. This was so stretching for the kids.

They came back with so many great stories. Some of those stories were of them helping an elderly man get back home after his wheelchair broke down in the middle of the street, another group took a homeless man to a nice sit down restaurant for lunch, and countless times where people found healing just from prayer. So many people were blessed to see all these young people out praying for the sick, downhearted, and the broken. The Lord was definently working through all of them. It was so encouraging to hear everything that happened, especially just seeing how the Lord lead each group to met with all the right people who needed to hear his voice that day.

Wed. was homeless outreach. There was a group that went to Fruit of the Vine which is a group of volunteers that take a hot meal to the various homeless camps around Columbus. Some of us went to Manna Cafe, which is a community dinner for the homeless that we helped serve food at. The night we helped serve food was one of the biggest nights I have ever seen at Manna, in total a hundred and sixty-two people were served that night. Others of us went Brown Bagging. Which is basically handing out sack lunches to anyone that wants one, and using that time to build relationships and lifting up the community in prayer. We prayed with so many people that kept telling us how blessed they were for what we were doing. This was such a blessing to us as well, but we can not take credit for what the Lord was and is doing in our community, if it wasn't for him none of this would have turned out the way it did.

Thur. was just a continuation of the Wed. outreaches. A group of girls went to a womans shelter called Rebbecca's place. They took a guitar so the girls worshiped with the women there and also painted their nails, mostly it was a time of fellowship together. A fairly large group went to Reaching the Nations International as well. RTNI is lead by a couple that leads a Bible study for all the inner city kids of Milo Grogan. The group that went here helped at a community garden and also prepared food for the inner city kids that night. And finally the saddest day/ greatest day of them all. Friday. Friday was full of mixed emotions, this was the day to clean up and for Kingsway to pack up for home, but also this was the day that all of the Reachers to came back after six months overseas. Yayyy!!!! We as a staff were so happy to see all of them, and super excited to hear all of there stories.

Overall, this week was so exhausting for everyone, but also one of the best weeks ever. I have personally seen the Lord working through all the kids that came this week. Not only did the Lord change hearts in our own community but also with everyone from Kingsway. The kids have all grown so much in the short time they were here. They have a real heart and a passion for doing and sharing the Lords work. I just want to share some of the comments that were shared during the week from Kingsway...

"Mission trip was AWESOME! God is so big and so great, and I'm so excited to see what he's doing in my life and in the lives of my classmates! The RIC staff were totally awesome and make things all the better! Strap it up!" -Isaac

"That was easily one of the best weeks of my life! God is working in amazing ways! I love everyone in my class SOOO much!!" -Mariah

"Mission trip was totally epic! My class is definitely the best. That was definitely the best mission trip I've ever been on! God is working in such an awesome way! Strap it Up!" -Austin

"God, please change our hearts, help us to be lights to these people and show your love." -Desiree

Just wanted to finish up by giving God all the glory, because nothing this week could have been possible without him.
Until next time, Ryan

A Light in the Darkness

Hello friends! So much has happened in the last month! A few weeks ago, we hosted a Prayer Conference at the RIC and I was able to sit and listen to the teachings even amid all the work of hosting 100 people. Dishes sure do pile high! During the conference we were given an opportunity to practice what was being taught and we split up into groups to pray throughout Columbus.  I was able to go on a prayer walk that targeted human sex trafficking. It was a cold and windy day and my group prayed for the ladies that were sold on the very streets that we walked. We felt a small taste of their plight as the wind chilled us to the bone.  Many people have not been exposed to the facts of this tragic issue. I myself have just recently become aware. To name a few statistics:

-There are around 800,000 people being trafficked in America. 50% of them are minors.

-1% are being reached or helped in some way

-For every 2 girls you see on the street, 8 are being sold elsewhere (internet)

-These girls are trafficked 365 days a year at an average of 5-15 times a day.

These are just numbers, very sad numbers, and they represent people; someone's daughter, or sister or friend. I pray that God would break my heart for these girls. Some are younger than me. Why am I so blessed that I'm not trapped in sex-slavery? I don't know. But I know God loves them and has called us to do the same.

Recently, the staff at the RIC went on a missions trip to Flint, MI. We partnered with a lady named Lynette. She lives in a neighborhood full of darkness and shines the love of Jesus to the homeless and poor. Her family is afraid to visit her because of the high rate of crime, but she has no fear because she knows that God has placed her there. Her neighbor, Liz, is always drunk, but she knows that Lynette loves her and that Lynette also loves Jesus. While we were in Flint, we had the privilege of serving a meal to some homeless in her backyard. I even got to sing and play worship songs on a small keyboard which was awesome! We handed out some clothes and talked with a few of them about life. It felt normal and easy and I know God was blessing us as we put ourselves out of our comfort zone.

Every morning we'd do a devotional with Lynette. One morning, she told us a story that I won't soon forget. She told us that there was a homeless woman that she used to see named Scrappy. Scrappy always stood at the corner of the same street begging for money so she could buy more liquor. Lynette would always stop and ask her if she was hungry. Often, she ended buying Scrappy a sandwhich and a coke. One day, Scrappy went to a different corner across town to beg. Lynette would remember her every now and then and wonder how she was doing. Some time later, there was a murder. Scrappy knew some information about it, and for five bucks, told someone what she knew. The next thing that Lynette heard about Scrappy was that she had been murdered for telling. Lynette then told us of her regret. All those times that she had shared food with Scrappy, she had never mentioned Jesus. It made her realize how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity. Her story broke my heart. Have I realized this truth? It's not enough just to serve others with love, we must speak the name of Jesus.  I have been challenged now. Am I willing to speak the name of Jesus in Columbus, Ohio? That's why Jesus called me here. I'm not here just to serve SEND ministries for a year and then go home. I want to be obedient to what He asks me to do. Please pray that we would be faithful as we shine our lights in the darkness.

Isaiah 61:1-4 -janae