This past Sunday, 5twelve City Church took a break from the routine Sunday format, and we invited our congregation to join our ministry partners from Mission Possible at Church Under the Bridge (CUB).
When my husband and I decided to help plant 5twelve City Church, I told people, “I’m not ‘leaving Hill Country Bible Church;’ I’m living out their mission by going on mission to downtown Austin. Austin is my city, and if its center is one of the least-reached population groups in the world, I want to be part of reaching it. I’ve never been able to go on a long-distance mission before; now I have the opportunity to serve the Lord in a missional capacity, right here at home.” Sunday was an opportunity for me to “put my money where my mouth is.”
Just before He ascended into heaven, Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV). Sunday morning, Lynnae had just that kind of opportunity. Here’s her story:
Yesterday at church under the bridge, God laid out everything perfectly for me to be able to very easily lead a sweet lady named P. to Christ!! Praise God – He gets ALL the glory! Here’s what happened: I introduced myself to P. and spent some time with her and eventually asked her if there’s anything she needed that I could help her with, and she said she mainly needed a tent and prayer.
I said I couldn’t help her with the tent right then but that I could definitely pray for her! She shared a long list of prayer requests, and I wrote them all down, and she shared that she’s suicidal… We talked about that, and then I asked, “Whenever both of our times come, would I get to see you in Heaven?” She said that she’s trying to get there, and I said, “Well, you know that you don’t have to try, right?” And she asked what I meant, which was God again laying things out perfectly for me to be able to talk with her about the Gospel, and she had an open and receptive heart, and she prayed after me to receive Christ as her Savior!
I told her the angels in Heaven were rejoicing in Heaven with us right then! We spent most of the morning together, so after the service ended, she told me she’d like to sing a song for me. She had earlier shared with me that she loves to sing and that it’s one of her talents, so I thought that was really sweet that she wanted me to get to hear her sing. She asked me to open YouTube and play the song “Angel of Mine” by Monica, so I did, and she sang along with it beautifully and often smiled very sweetly at me during it, and it was sooo touching!
After she finished, she said, “That was for you!!” Awww, gulp, cue my big teary eyes!! I’m so grateful for my time with P. and all that God did! All I did was show up, honestly, and God laid out all of the circumstances and all of the details of our conversation for me to be able to easily take each next step that He perfectly laid out! I’m grateful He gave me the opportunity to be a part of His work!
At His final Passover meal, Jesus knelt and washed His disciples’ feet. People in Biblical times walked dusty roads, wearing sandals. The washing of feet was a dirty task, considered menial at best and demeaning at worst. Yet Jesus, who was fully God, humbled Himself in this way.
So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.John 13:12-17, NKJV
Sunday morning, I had the opportunity to be blessed in this way. I was standing off to the side with several of our ladies during worship, and a woman (C.) came over asking about bandages or a way to clean a wound. She said her fiancée (J.) had fallen the day before and scraped up his shin, and that it looked pretty bad. We all asked one another whether we had anything like that available, and none of us could think of much. Not having seen the wound, I thought, “I might have a band-aid left in my purse, at least I should check.” I went to the car and looked in my purse, and there was that lonely band-aid. But there was also a package of very soft antiseptic wipes. I didn’t know they were there, and I had no idea where they had come from. I grabbed them and went to J. This was not a one-band-aid wound. All the way from his knee to his ankle, he had an abrasion that was only half-scabbed. It looked painful, and it wasn’t healing very well.
I asked if I may clean his wound, and he looked at me with grateful eyes. I said, “This is going to sting,” and he said, “That’s OK, go ahead.” I took out wipe after wipe and gently cleaned the wound. C. came over and said she had found more supplies from someone in the crowd. She had more wipes, gauze, tape, and an elastic wrap bandage. Lynnae came over and asked if she could help, and I asked her to pray as we worked. Kirsten (also from 5twelve) came over and offered her scissors. As C. and I worked to clean and wrap J.’s wound, Lynnae prayed over J. and C. – not just for healing for J’s injuries, but for their relationship, for their souls, and for God’s provision. With eyes full of tears, J. asked for our 5twelve meeting location so that they could come visit us.
After the CUB service, we began to hear other things from Mission Possible volunteers. They said that they expected ten people, and we brought 30. They said it was one of the most peaceful gatherings they’ve ever had. I can say that I definitely felt the peace of God blanketing the whole gathering. Nobody raised their voices, except to worship and pray. Looking around, I saw people engaged in intent and joyful worship, people sharing stories with our volunteers, people helping to unload and load tables and chairs, hugs, prayers, laughter, and smiles. At times, it felt a good deal like our normal Sunday morning activities, just in a different location. The breeze under the bridge was cool, the sound team did a great job working without their usual equipment to make our band sound amazing in the strange acoustical setting, and the woman who came to do the message read and prayed long passages of scripture over the gathering – passages of hope and healing and freedom.
At a time when our city is in strife and confusion about the homeless population, the legality (or not) of camping on our streets, and how to “make the problem go away,” we wondered what the atmosphere at CUB would be like Sunday morning. What we found there might best be characterized by the chorus of the song “Holy Spirit,” by Jesus Culture:
Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place
And fill the atmosphere
Your glory God
Is what our hearts long for
To be overcome
By Your presence, Lord
Next Sunday morning, we will begin a series called, “Moments of Favor.” The series is based on the idea that, “God can do in a moment of favor what I cannot do in a lifetime of labor.” At CUB, we couldn’t have blanketed the place in overwhelming peace. We couldn’t have produced antiseptic wipes out of thin air. We couldn’t have softened the hearts of people to receive the Gospel message. God’s favor did all that – we just showed up. I hope you can join us as we explore the meaning of God’s favor and hear more stories about times when God did things no human could do on their own.
Do you have a story of life change? We would love to hear it. Let us hear how God is transforming your life and the lives of those around you through the power of Christ. Drop us a line at [email protected] or submit a form using the button below! We’ll get in touch and work with you to share your story.