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Archive for June, 2006

Friday was the last day of Sidewalk Sunday School for Spring 2006! During the next couple of months (July-Sep.) we will be doing other community outreaches, camp, training, vacation time and preparation for next semester.


division gr8 in Boston!
Timon (our divisional leader), his wife Emily, Andrei, me, Patty, Lexi and Pinky


Me teaching the “Life Lesson” in Queens.


Before Sidewalk Sunday School in Woodside.


It rained and all the garbage on the sidewalk started floating.

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Most of you know about the phenomenon that is MySpace. I was talking to a ten year old from my Sidewalk Sunday School site as he was walking home from school. We talked for several minutes and somehow got on the topic of MySpace. He told me he had a profile and gave me his email address. I searched for him and found his profile. He obviously lied about being fourteen (I think that is the minimum age requirement), but on his profile he had the cutest picture of him holding his bunny rabbit that recently passed away.

He missed our Sidewalk Sunday School site one week, so I left a comment on his profile saying we missed him. He emailed me back on MySpace to tell me his mom wanted him to go to the afterschool at the community center.

It was kind of a cool way to communicate with him and I learned from his profile that he was Latino (not African-American like I thought) and considers himself Catholic.

The kids these days are way into the internet, yo. I’ve also been chatting on AOL with another one of my teenagers and she’s been much more open in sharing with me what’s happening in her life than she would share in person.

Technology as a ministry tool. Chatting and MySpace to build relationships. Awesome.

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I’ve been on my site almost a year and I’m just now starting to see people opening up to me. For some families it took an entire year for the them to even consider inviting me into their homes. This week on visitation I realized two Moms were sort of competeting with each other concerning how much time I spent at their house.

“She told me you spent an hour at her house! You never spend time with me!”

I had no clue they even cared or that my knocks on their door even made a difference.

I’m becoming more aware, each day, at how vulnerable many of our people are and how they need to be handled with care. They are fragile and I need to be extra considerate, trying to understand their irrational, almost child like responses to situations. Sometimes our most faithful, solid parents just freak out and get screaming upset about something, cussing me out. In the moment I’m shocked because these are “good” parents. But I’m learning I can’t respond to them with emotion or censure. Most often I have to respond to them like I wasn’t being cussed out, but was being spoken to respectfully. If I react calmly and respectfully, they eventually chill out themselves. But, it’s still difficult and it still hurts.

I said several weeks ago that I was just now “getting” some things about ministry that I thought I already understood. Now I’m just now understanding that it really does just take time. Just being there does make a difference. Consistency is a silent, powerful weapon in outreach.

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Yo.

Here in the ghetto, one must end every sentence spoken with a “yo.” Such as,

“What up, yo?”

“I’m tired, yo!”

“Can I have a dollar, yo?”

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