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Our Youth Planting a Seed of Legacy

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The spiritual discipline of prayer can seem rather complex. A few weeks ago, we had a summer Bible study on this very topic. Some of the questions brought up were:

  • Does prayer change God’s mind?
  • How does God hear all of our prayers at the same time?
  • Does God wait to act until we pray about that specific thing?

We stepped into this topic, and into these difficult questions. Yet, at the end of the night we concluded that prayer is one of the most significant ways we can’t act out our faith. It’s not about how and if God responds, it’s about humbly coming before the Father. We pray to the father to help align our will with His.

So what happens when we align our will with His? A few weeks ago, Donna Mroz, from OC-United, revealed that answer to our students. Two years ago, Donna shared with our group that she had an idea for a domestic abuse support group. She stated that many women in abuse situations won’t attend a support group because they don’t feel safe. She had an idea to hold the support groups at a police station. Donna shared, “How much safer would a woman feel if their abuser would have to show up at a police station to confront them?” Donna told our group that she was in the initial stages of proposing this idea to the Fullerton Police Department.

I told her that we should pray for this idea to happen. We should walk down to Police station and hold hands and prayer for this to be God’s will. I’ll never forget the look on Donna’s face as our students excitedly jumped up from their seats and hurried out the door to go pray for her and her idea. 10 minutes later we gathered on the sidewalk and, one by one, each of the students prayed for Donna and for the support group.

Fast forward two years later as Donna is sharing about the success of her Fullerton support group. She tells the students that they are a few weeks away from launching their 2nd location at the Anaheim Police Department. She told us that she feels that this is her legacy, that God is calling her to start an abuse support group at every police department in Orange County. She then reminded us all of that moment two years ago, maybe something we had forgotten about. Donna told our students that this was their legacy too, that they were a part of this ministry to victims of abuse. Because of their prayer she knew this is what God wanted her to do.

It’s true that we never know how God will respond to our prayers. Yet, we can confidentially pray for His will to be our will.  When we do that we are participating in His good works that He has been planning all along.

 

Posted by Garrett Gerhart with

Who Is Our Neighbor?

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I see things from my office here at PPC.

I see things I didn’t expect to see from my window. 

I see our neighbors.  I see us.

I see Valencia High School students strolling through our campus on their way home from sports practice or school.  I see families and couples walk by the office looking for help from Camino Immigration.

I see ordinary people of PPC and Solidarity working together for the Kingdom of God right here in our neighborhood. 

During VBS I saw awesome, adult volunteers shepherding their flock of kids around the campus and cheering them on when they needed help or were upset.  Some of these volunteers have brought tears to my eyes watching them love these children, some of whom they have never met before.

I have watched the Summer interns, Luke, Aleen, Maria & AJ become friends, planning, working, learning and playing together. I have watched these interns learn what it means to be true leaders, getting a glimpse of Kingdom building.  They are learning to do great things in our neighborhood.

I have watched the high school cohorts arrive back on campus so tired, but energized after working with the Solidarity Summer program in our neighborhood.

I have watched the Solidarity Merge Teen group frolic on our grass as our PPC folks finish cooking their Monday BBQ dinner.  They are comfortable here.

I have watched excited children attending VBS and our summer camps gleefully learning about God, science and gardening alongside children they have never met before.

This summer, as well as last, we are collaborating with Solidarity, serving and ministering to the local, neighborhood kids, teens and youth, alongside our own PPC kids. We hired two interns from PPC and two from the Solidarity Community and our teen cohorts also represent both entities. 

I don’t see these people as Solidarity people or PPC people anymore  These people are Kingdom of God  people.  They are our neighbors and  are woven into the community of Placentia and this place that we call church.

I also see, everyday, the painting on the wall by Karin Zaldaña-Moran from my desk. Come in to the office to see it! To me, this painting represents the intersecting lives of the children, youth and adults in our local neighborhood and church.  We are different but we are woven together, as God intended, with no barriers.  I see the people in the white light of the picture melting together and intersecting, overcoming the black space that was once an empty canvas.  Our church is now a part of the canvas of the neighborhood. 

We are now truly neighbors.

God is good.  All the time.

 

Posted by Barbara Balent with

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