After two years of hard work, on May 15th, I graduated with the class of 2011 from IHOPU’s Forerunner Justice Program (FJP). It has been an adventure for sure! Starting in Mexico on our “dis-orientation” trip, I saw firsthand the injustices of bloodshed and witchcraft, poverty, human trafficking, and unresponsive hearts to the truth of the Gospel. Left dis-oriented, I launched into the next two years of studying the desire of God to bring justice to the earth. In my final year of study, I moved to the inner city of Kansas City to a high-crime neighborhood. Here, I have seen the sorrowful results of the injustice of racism, murder, theft, sickness, and poverty.
What Have I Learned About Justice?
First off, I am completing this program with more questions than answers! I suppose I will be a student for the rest of my life seeking out Jesus’ heart for the poor and oppressed. Nevertheless, this past semester, I summarized the things that I have learned in a twenty-five page paper entitled “Communities and Government”. Here is a summary of it.
Summary of Ministry Impact
In the Forerunner Justice Program (FJP) I have engaged in hands-on ministry. God has done much these past two years. Here is a snap shot:
Mexico Mission Trip
In Mexico, we prayed at the Ven Pronto (Come Quickly) House of Prayer in Cuernavaca and Mexico City from 10 pm-4 am in the Nightwatch. Since many Mexicans stayed awake with us, we did “Spanglish” sets, as they called them, mixing Spanish and English worship songs, choruses, and prayers. We also taught the house of prayer staff some of the things that keep 24/7 prayer going in Kansas City. My 12-minute video “A Journey of Justice” highlights what happened.
Crisis Pregnancy Center/Silent Siege
My first FJP outreach assignment was to serve a local crisis pregnancy center, The Women’s Clinic of Kansas City. We went through their crisis pregnancy center counselor training. The training put me face to face with the things a young woman faces during an unplanned pregnancy This opened my eyes and is giving me a greater compassion for these women. I also continued praying outside of the abortion clinic in our “Silent Siege”.
The next semester, I began working with a local homeless shelter Kansas City Rescue Mission. Every week we led their chapel service. One of the weeks, I preached on how Jesus understands their situation. I talked about how Jesus Himself had no place to lay his head. I told them Jesus desires to raise them up out of their situation giving them dignity and worth. However, I think I learned more from the homeless about Jesus then they did from me!
Moving to the Inner City/Hope City
In June of last year, I moved with my thirteen other classmates to inner city Kansas City to learn about justice and pioneer IHOPKC’s new prayer room and outreach center, Hope City. I have been serving Hope City leading worship and prayer meetings. I have also been helping with their weekly Monday dinner feeding program.
Prayer in the Night at Hope City
The FJP students prayed at Hope City last semester from Midnight-4am every Monday night. We prayed with fervency since we had the real faces of our neighbors in our hearts. Unbelievably, after months of prayer, a KC Police Sergeant announced that violent crime has literally scattered out from our dangerous neighborhood. Prayer works!
In January, I went on a mission trip to Haiti to mark the anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti last year. Over 12,000 gathered for TheCall Haiti with passionate prayer and worship. The response of the Haitian people to worship in the midst of tragedy astounded me.
What’s Next? – Haiti
In October, I am going to Haiti for three months. The Capstone of the Forerunner Justice Program will begin in July with three months in Kansas City and end with three months in Haiti. I am in discussion right now with a Kansas City ministry that helps Haitians adjust to American society. I will be serving them and a couple of local Haitian congregations. My time serving these ministries will prepare me for three months in Haiti where I will work with the ministry that hosted TheCall, Fishers of Men. I will be sending more details along soon with specifics of how you can be involved. Thank you again for your prayers and support. You are a part of this impact!
Summary of “Communities and Government”
We have to understand God first before we can ever understand justice. From eternity past, God has not existed as one self-absorbed individual, but as a Community the Trinity constantly gives and enjoys One another. Understanding justice begins with understanding the delight of the Father for His Son (Isaiah 42:1). The Godhead created humanity in Their image. Just as God’s community is essential to His Divinity, our community is essential to our humanity.
However, our community cannot exist without order. Therefore, God has commissioned communities to form governments that participate in God’s rule over creation (Romans 13:1-7). When communities form godly governments, the Gospel can flourish and men and women can live peaceful and quite lives (1 Timothy 2:2) fulfilling the commandment of the Lord in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it”. However, when communities form wicked oppressive governments, the Gospel is hindered and there is a great hindrance to the Lord’s command to build families. In my paper, I looked specifically at the government of Haiti. I highlighted the oppression of the people by the government and how other foreign governments (such as France and the US) have oppressed Haiti. I also interviewed a Haitian woman who gave me a firsthand account of life in Haiti and life as an immigrant in the United States. This project gave me a more Biblical understanding of the role and purpose of communities and governments. This is invaluable for me since I have a real call on my life to pray for the government.
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