Whose child is this? (Metro Ministries)
Four months is OK!
When my son told me he wanted to go to New York to work for four months as an intern, in Metro Ministries, I though, OK, four months I can handle, it's not too long.
Then I heard what life would be like for him and began to have my doubts.
Apparently whilst there he could not wear red or blue clothes, they were 'exclusive' colours belonging to the two rival gangs who roamed the neighbourhood where he would be working.
It seems they had a tendency to shoot each other for wearing the wrong colour sweat shirts.
Neither could he go out socially in a crowd of less than five. Safety in numbers it appears.
Whilst there as an intern he would be working 10 -12 hours a day for no pay as a volunteer, rising at 6am (which seems normal for the USA) and constantly under supervision and control.
At no time could he be alone with any woman, he was not allowed to date anybody, especially fellow interns and smoking or drinking any alcoholic drink was totally taboo.
I figured he'd be home in two weeks, coming as he does from a laid back Spanish lifestyle. The only thing that seemed normal for him in this new experience was the getting up at six in the morning, because allowing for the time difference between the USA and Spain, he would get up at the same time, as he normally arose about noon!
Words have power
Saying goodbye to Jaime was a strange experience for me, you see when Jaime was born, his mother was still in Ga Ga land, having had a caesarean birth with anaesthetic, so the nurse delivered the small bundle in a Moses basket to me, then made to leave the room "Whoa" said I in my best Spanglish, "What about the niño" - She shrugged and said "He's all yours" and in that instance I needed to decide whether I walked out of the door and disappeared (not difficult in Spain) or made a commitment. I looked at the mite and said "OK you've got 18 years" then I took a second look and said, "OK make that 20, but then you're on your own!"
This was three years before I surrendered to Christ, and I was still footloose and fancy free (i.e. in rebellion against... well everything) and just married to Jaime's mum, who had suggested that it would make it easier for me to claim the child if we separated!.
Four years later, almost to the day, she left after I had become a Christian, so I raised Jaime alone for another four years until I met my wife.
So here we were, at Malaga airport at six am in the morning, waiting to see him disappear off to New York and God knew what, two months short of his 20th birthday.
Take note: Words you say have great power.
You need to break the chain..
We talk, but mostly only once a week, on Monday, his day off, he's too tired to do much conversing and the young man who lived on the computer killing terrorists in a game is now writing and preaching his own sermons to young kids, telling them that life is not hopeless, that just because all their brothers and sister and their friends are taking and or selling drugs, carrying guns or children, it need not be that way, Jesus can and will change their lives. Will they listen, well apparently a good number do, they have success stories, but those who succeed don't run away to the suburbs and 'better' neighbourhoods, they stay where they grew up, and try to help others, that's what these folk need, help and understanding and Christ.
I slowly come to realise that my son is becoming a man, and unlike me, he is out there helping folk rather than using them, which i was doing at the same age. So Christ has worked for me also, His presence in my life has broken the chain that bound our family to the enemy, and set us free from Lucifers clutches.
If it can work for us, it can work for these children also.
Jaime came back home...
But not for long, this time had changed him and the young man who only a couple of years earlier had been lost and experimenting where he should not be experimenting was now a strong young believer in Christ who was not afraid to face the world and serve his Lord in what is still a wild and risky place to live and work.
When Jaime went back I was in a deep depression until I realised that God was telling me that rather than losing my son and feeling bitter about it, I should be rejoicing that I had raised a son who chose, completely of his own accord, to serve Christ in dark places, bringing light to allow others to see the way out.
The Ark Christian Fellowship
- Welcome to the Ark
The Ark currently have two of our youth serving with Metro Ministries; Nati Smith and James Harper. They are supported by donations and our mission fund.
Christ saved Bill first
Bill Wilson was abandoned on a street corner by his mother, fortunately for him he was noticed by a Christian man, who paid for him to go to a Christian youth camp... Bill came to faith at the camp, the rest is history.
But it has been a hard history.
From a small town churches youth leader, to the man responsible for bringing Christ weekly to 42,000 children, it's taken 30 years of his life, he's been shot, beaten, robbed, bad mouthed and ridiculed, but he is still there and although now his main task is to speak and raise the funds needed to keep this ministry open, he still drives his bus collecting his children whenever he can, he still lives in the Bronx, when he could live out in the suburbs, because he knows that if he moved out the ministry would start to die.
But it will not die, because each year hundreds of volunteers subject themselves to the Metro Ministries intern program and live roughly in an old Jewish hospital that is still being made habitable and safe, because each year the ministry becomes more adept at teaching these children a moral code and respect of life that they would never be taught at home, and because where God guides, He provides.
Bill Wilson wrote a book about this ministry, I urge you to buy and read it, not just to help in making this ministry grow, be more effective, reach more children that a lost world cannot offer an answer to, but also because this book will change YOUR life for the better also.
If you are a believer and read Bills book, you will be challenged no matter how much you support your churches missions program, nor how much you religiously tithe on Sunday.
Matthew 25 verses 35-36
'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Message for Atheists
If you are an atheist, still read this book, not to change you mind about God (although it may do that) but to let you see, possibly for the first time, what a real Christian walk is like.
Bill Wilson is the real thing, the people who work around him are the real thing. Forget all your rhetoric and ridicule, these people are walking the walk that nobody else wants to do.
Don't buy the book from Amazon, they are selling it too cheap, and you cannot afford to be too cheap where Gods concerned, visit the Metro site and buy it from there, even better, donate something or sponsor a child, that way you can start walking the walk, whether you are a believer or not.
If you are a believer, well Matthew 25 tells you that you need to be either doing or supporting those who do.
If you don't believe, then here is your chance to put us believers to shame with your secular generosity.
Don't turn away from these children
- Metro Ministries
Under direction of Senior Pastor and Founder Bill Wilson, our mission is to find and rescue inner city children in urban environments often plagued by poverty, violence, drugs, crime, and hopelessness.