Over the last few weeks, we’ve been experiencing a rather intense period of what feels like spiritual opposition — a couple of car accidents, several burglaries and thefts, a drive-by shooting in one of the neighborhoods we’re ministering in, to name just a few incidents. It’s something that many of us on staff have been observing and feeling on a personal level as well, so I’d ask for you to stand with us in this, as “our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12), and prayer is the most effective weapon we have right now.
There are a lot of good things happening: small groups are going really well, new people are finding community, those that are far from God are giving their lives to Christ, and we are making real headway in building connections with other churches and organizations in the city to see more of God’s kingdom in our neighborhoods. (For instance, I had a great meeting with Dr. Evans, the new principal of Miner Elementary, about how we can continue to partner with them to help the kids; and our layout reshuffle [see below] looks great.) So it’s not altogether surprising to be in this situation; but it’s a good, humbling, sobering reminder that we’re not just playing games, and also that none of what we’re doing is possible unless the Lord is in it.