Yesterday was a good but straightforward day. In class we covered the intricacies of quantitative research, the challenges of dealing with statistics, and advanced literature search techniques.
However, the highlight of the day was not in but out of class. When the class sessions were done, I traveled to the north side of Chicago (Humbolt Park) to visit with my friends and fellow church-planters, Craig and Elizabeth Priestly. After a nice dinner and brief time of prayer, Craig and I headed out to a vigil where a few community leaders gathered to commemorate the life of a young man who was recently shot to death, and to pray and plan for an end to the violence that has recently plagued this area.
In fact, last fall, while some of these same people were gathered at a similar vigil in the same neighborhood, someone was shot to death right across the street, scattering the participants and ending the vigil. And in fact, while we were gathered, 5-6 shots were fired a block or so away from us.
Parts of Chicago are war zones--literally war zones--and so we gathered in faith, hope, and prayer, knowing that the Lord hears those who humbly call upon his name.
Please join me in lifting up the precious souls who not only visit this neighborhood but who live and work for a better future there. The Lord hasn't called everyone to live in places like Humbolt Park but he has called us to be one Body and to care for one another and pray for one another.
Also, please pray for Craig and Elizabeth as they labor in faith to plant a beacon of hope in this neighborhood. They have many crucial decisions to make at this time and they need guidance from the Lord and support from prayer warriors and wise men and women of God.
Lord Jesus, please let your light shine in Humbolt Park for the glory of your name and the blessing of those who reside there. Amen.