So the four interns have been here for two weeks today, and I think that they have had a good experience so far. For me and Diane, having all the GUPY’s living here in the house has been a real blessing and has really made us appreciate that Eliza and Psalter get to have such wonderful people around them for a whole summer.
The feel of this GUPY is very different from the other two. I am with the students most every day all day because we are serving mostly with kids in the community through things that my church is doing, thus they are not at their internships all day and then with me at night, as in year’s past. Also, riding the bus is less of a necessity and less practical since we are shuttling kids around a lot, so that part of the experience is not happening. Overall, I think that I have chilled out a good bit and am enjoying the students being here more. Also, I sense a change in my heart in terms of what I hope they will take from the project. While I don’t think they can escape learning about justice and the 3 R’s and having a heart for the poor, my hope is that they discover that those things must be under girded by a growing intimacy with Jesus. The students are each in a different place in this regard, and each has been eager to learn, both about Jesus and about the community here. Last week and this week we have been serving as counselors for a camp for Glenwood teens, and are really learning to cross cultures with the kids! After a few days of rest, we head to the Dominican Republic on July 21 for a 10-day missions trip with YWAM.
I also feel that I am entering a wait-and-see phase for the GUPY aspect of our ministry with IV. Glenwood is changing rapidly as drug dealers are being pushed out (or locked up) and prostitution is moving to other parts of the city. I only know of one place to buy drugs on my street right now (as compared to 5-plus in years past), and the bad elements of our neighborhood are being funneled and concentrated into one ever-shrinking area. This leads me to wonder what my family’s role is here for the future, and what GUPY will look like as the neighborhood continues to improve in terms of crime, yet remain diverse. More and more my heart seems to lean towards a project that is less about urban ministry and more about discipleship in an urban context, where the goal is closer communion with Jesus and where we are made aware of our need and of His presence as we serve. I have tossed this idea around before, but this time feels more peaceful and less generated by my fears and flesh.