05
Apr
09

Why I’m going to Louisiana

Deep south, wrought iron, the Flor De Lis...what more could I ask for?

Deep south, wrought iron, the Flor De Lis...what more could I ask for?

Ever since I became a follower of Christ, I have been on a mission to find and then pursue my ultimate purpose in this world.

This is a task SO much easier said than done, as many of you can atest to.

I knew, beyond a shadow of any doubt, however, that my life was going to be very rooted in the performing arts.  I can act, I can sing, and I can dance.  And I love it all.  It would be foolish to deny not only what I’m gifted in, but also what I truly love!  I also knew, beyond a shadow of every doubt, that my life was meant to glorify Christ and my ultimate desire was, and is, to live my life for Him.

So, with the first hurdle crossed, I proceeded to bring this lofty and vague idea of living a life for God within the performing arts into focus.  And this is the difficult part.  I’m still in this part of the process.  But here is what I have gathered over the past few years that has brought me some clarification of my passion and true mission:

In the summer of 2006, one year after my submission to Christ, I went on two short-term missions supported by Campus Crusade for Christ. 

For two weeks in May, I went to New Orleans, LA, to aid in Hurricane Katrina relief.  In the process, I fell absolutely in love with the area and it stirred my unexplainable desire to dwell within the culture of the bayou and deep south values.  Ever since, I have gone back to the New Orleans area….but more on that later!

My second trip that summer was to the inner city of Chicago.  I spent six weeks there learning and experiencing something I had never heard of before: Urban Ministry.  This elusive term took my life by storm.  The marriage of city life and ministry, the opportunity to reach thousands upon thousands of people in one small area, and the compassion and humility required to sustain and thrive as a believer in the city stirred another part of me.  The part that felt the calling to serve within an urban area and never look back.

With these new discoveries, I had an even clearer understanding as to what I would be up to.  

I love Jesus Christ, I love the performing arts, I love New Orleans, and I love urban ministry.

As I mentioned earlier, I continued to go back to Louisiana.  In January, 2008, I made a trip with a very small group of people from Harvest Bible Chapel of DeKalb to Sovereign Grace Fellowship church located in Slidell, LA.  Slidell is on the Northshore, not 30 minutes from New Orleans itself.

I wasn’t expecting too much when I saw this nondescript, quaint little church.  I thought they were a congregation doing a great thing on a small scale and needed a little bit of help, and that was that.

And then, I fell in love with the people. 

Without getting too in depth in this blog regarding who they are and why they are the way they are, it will suffice to say that this group of people also love God very much, and have allowed Him to put them into a refining fire together.  What has been formed is a community touched and gifted by God beyond any congregation I have ever witnessed. 

That week I spent time being ministered to more than I was ministering to others.  Of course, I worked and helped them, but the words and teaching and love I received that week was like balm to my heart.  I went away knowing I would visit again.

And I did.  In the spring of 2008, I went back and learned even more about the people and there ministry, mission, and also their vision.

And then it happened: I fell in love with their mission and caught their vision and began to claim it as my own.  Soon after I decided that I would move to Slidell to join them in their growing ministry.

I have the unique opportunity to not only join in on what they have already accomplished and established within their ministry, but I also have the freedom and creative liscense to expand upon what they are doing to help round out the ministry.  This is where my love for the performing arts will be able to manifest.  But more on that in another blog. 

I found that I could blend all my passions within this ministry, and am now taking the next step this spring to see, even further, what it means to live my life for God within the context of the passions and gifts Christ has blessed me with.

By the grace of God, my ultimate purpose and mission in life has come into further focus, and the details are filling in.  Praise Him!

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