Thursday, January 6, 2011

40 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Traci...this ministry is MINE...you know that, right?

I have told God that I know Safe Families Milwaukee is HIS ministry, but He has been reminding over the past six months of this over and over again. It's not easy. In fact, getting Safe Families Milwaukee up and running is proving to be impossible for me.

I can't even tell you how many times I have messed up. I get about 30 seconds to "pitch" Safe Families and many times I screw it all up. Pastors look at me with puzzled looks on their faces. Many say, "Sounds interesting. Send me some information and we'll look at it next year." I get meetings with the Lt. Governor and stumble and fumble my way through my words.

God is simply telling me, "When this gets started...it is because I made it happen."

I am not frustrated or discouraged. In fact, this knowledge brings me peace! It is not going to be up to me...God will make sure this does or doesn't happen. So, I continue to make my appointments and set up meetings and drive into the city to talk.

What I realized yesterday, on one of those crazy busy days in the city, is that convincing a momma to trust me is going to be incredibly difficult! I talked with a woman yesterday whose sister needed someone to watch her 5 month old baby for one week while she was in the hospital having surgery. The woman talked to me, but had a skeptical look on her face the whole time. "So, are you gonna watch the baby?"

"No. I have a great family who would love to help for a week."

"No way. Uh-uh. No how. Never!"

"Can I ask why?'

"Because I was put into a foster home and I was raped. Every day I was in that home! And my sister...she was sodomized by the same 'good father'. There is no way I will trust anyone who just says they are going to do good."

This has become the all-too familiar scenario I hear. So many families in crisis need help, but because they themselves were terribly hurt when they were children and their family was in crisis, they don't trust me. And how do I convince this woman that my safe families are NOT going to harm their child? Are my words enough? Is the sincerity in my eyes enough?

I am so sad that the church, God's people who are called to CARE, left the hurting and the broken to fend for themselves decades ago. The church just opened their hands and said, "It's not my problem." And now, we have generations of hurting, broken people who have NO reason to trust the church at all. How can we possibly claim to be Christians when we are not hearing the cries from the broken?

I thought about this for a while. For years, I never even heard the cries of the poor. Why? Not because they are not crying out! But because I conveniently stopped listening. Moving to the suburbs...attending an all-white, affluent church, cloistering with my believer friends through-out the week...all proved to plug my ears to what has been happening in the cities. I am glad God asked me to pull the plugs out...because now I hear.

And I know, there are many people who take advantage and blah, blah, blah...I can hear all the excuses and rationalizations as to why we don't help the people in the city. And some of these are legitimate excuses...BUT...how will the healing ever begin?

Who will go?

Who will hug this woman and promise her that her children will be loved and cared for?

Who will drive east of Mayfair Mall and realize they don't turn into pumpkins?

Who will sit with those who are broken hearted, poor and sinful?

When did we water down the message of Jesus? When did we decide that following Jesus meant attending Bible studies and listening to K-Love rather than "meeting the woman at the well at noon"?

I am calling for 40 days of prayer and fasting for Safe Families. And for the city to respond to the love of Safe Families. I have met families willing to go! I have met families who are willing to drive east of Mayfair Mall! I have met families that are willing to sit with sinners who need help! I have met families that are living the message of Jesus!

Now, we need God's power and might to make this happen.

Starting Monday, January 10, I am going to ask all my friends, family and even strangers (ha!) to fast and pray for Safe Families Milwaukee! Chose whatever way you will fast....some suggestions would be to fast from TV for one hour (your favorite, have-to-watch show), or fast from lunch, or fast from FB, Twitter or blogs for an hour...and during that hour, pray for Safe Families Milwaukee, pray for the hurting families out there, pray for the legislature which will be voting on a new law allowing SF to minister legally in Wisconsin.

Will you commit to prayer and fasting? We can't do this without God!

1 comment:

Bear Creek Mama said...

I have to be honest.
I so agree with all that you said. I'm heart broken that people have been so used and abused that they no longer trust. That in the Father's name they have been hurt.
I am thrilled to hear of the new legislation for Safe Families. What great news for you!
But, sadly, my 'Radical' button is on hold, for now. I know there is something up and I continue to pray for what that is, but for now, I am a Bible studying, carpool driving Mama who rests each day in the Truths of God's word knowing that this period of rest will not last.
All that to say, that I praise you for your courage and there is yet a part of me that wants desperately to say, "40 days? SURE!", but instead, I will promise to pray, TODAY, and whenever else you are laid upon my heart.
Keep up your hard and RADICAL work for him. You will reap great rewards!