An accounting of Face of Justice

God does not ask us to do great things.
He simply asks us to obey so He can do
great things through us.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tired Boys

When you are involved in an intense ministry like this one, there is constant need to hear confirmation from God. So every week when our ministry team goes to the streets of San Jose to visit with young men and women who sell themselves in prostitution, we ask Him to go before us, to show Himself in the people we meet.

This is a story of one such night.

Most every week we stop by the Parque Nacional, a public park across the street from Costa Rica's highest court house. A group of young men, ages 14 to 21, stand on a corner of this park.

Last week we stopped and visited five young men who were glad for conversation, a cup of té frio and some cookies. After we chatted or rather they gossiped with us for about 20 minutes, we decided to ask them if anyone had anything they wanted us to pray with them about.

In the group was a young man we had not seen before. His name was Jon and he looked very sad. Typically, these young men laugh and joke a lot, covering up their pain and insecurities of which there are many.  Jon could not hide his pain. He sat on the damp, stone steps leading into the park with his head bent low.  Jon was quiet, not saying a word or laughing.

When we asked if someone wanted to pray, Jon instantly raised his hand and practically jumped off the step on which he was sitting. Once he realized what he had done, he recoiled in embarrassment and offered to let everyone else to go first.

We assured him that we had time for him as well as the others. One of our team took Jon aside, as he told her about his the weariness of his life and how he wanted to get off the streets. "I am just tired," he said. "I can't do this any more."

We did not know Jon's exact age but we are guessing he is about 17 years old.

While Anabel was praying with Jon, the rest of us prayed with a few of the others. Among them was Daniel. We have visited with Daniel on several occasions but he never seemed interested in praying or establishing a relationship with any of us. He was always one of those who were good at covering up his pain with joking or laughter. 

This night, however, he was not laughing at all when he asked us to pray with him. As he told us about his mother being in the hospital, tears danced at the edge of his eyes. "I am tired," he said. "I can't do this any more." 

Daniel is 21. He has been standing on this corner since was 14 years old.

My heart was heavy. All that week I prayed for Jon and Daniel. Their words "I am tired" rang through my head over and over.  Young men I know do not typically fall in exhaustion unless they have been playing a long game of soccer or running a race.  The only young men I know are full of energy with  life full before them.

In response to my cries, God took me to a scripture that I had seen many times but had new meaning and a profound impact.

The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding
He gives power to the weak
and strength the to powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
                               Isaiah 40:28-31

After I read this scripture, I wept for our friends and then God spoke very clearly. He told me He knew these young men and countless others when He gave these words to Isaiah. He had these young men in His eyes and He cares for them. "Help them see Me," He said.

Before we ended the conversation with Daniel, he told us, "Is there a place I can go pray?" We told him about the coffee house we are opening and it is going to be for him and that it will be a place to pray. "I will be there when it opens" he said.

So we know the task we have before us. We hope to see these young men soar high on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and no faint. But right now that seems impossible to them and us, but our Lord is the everlasting God, creator of all the earth!

The names in this blog are fictitious to protect the young men who are our friends.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Along the journey. . . .

by Elizabeth Gilroy

If you are driving forward toward your destination, there are times you have to stop along the way and drop off a passenger.  Often times this is done with great sorrow or dismay because the journey was going so well with everyone on board.

And so it is with Freedom Street Ministries right now. We have been moving forward, with a full tank and cruising in the tailwind of God's mercy. But now it's time for a stop, dropping off a fellow driver.

Our core ministry team is myself Elizabeth Gilroy, Paola Arce and Ingrid Rong. It is this trio that has heard the voice of God and stepped into the car without looking back. Well, this week we are saying goodbye to Ingrid Rong who is returning to her home country of Norway where she will be studying counseling for one year.
Ingrid on the right with one of our dear friends.
Ingrid's plan is to return to San Jose and our ministry after a year of study and preparation.  Over the past several months several prophecies have been spoken over her in this regard so we know this is God's plan for her life.

Ingrid has been crucial in our street ministry. She is a shining light and the women and transvestites are drawn to her warm and inviting  personality. She is going to be greatly missed in relationship as well as function of the ministry.

Although, she will be connecting with us each month and continue her fundraising efforts in Norway, we back here in Costa Rica will feel the huge gap she leaves behind. 

So please pray for Ingrid as she moves forward in a different lane, down a different road for a time. We will miss her unfailing energy, consistency and commitment to this ministry. We will also miss her as a friend.

Our coffee house is almost ready for classes and Bible studies but it is ready for people to visit. So this week our friends were  eager to hold a going away party for Ingrid so we opened the house to them.

Ingrid on the right with Lela.

With Ingrid leaving we realize how much these ladies rely on us for friendship.
Building relationships is what Freedom Street is all about. 

Please pray for Paola and I as we keep this fast-moving vehicle forward.  Pray for daily direction and protection. Pray we will organize our time in such a way we are most effective in our lives, our ministry and our families.