Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hello Hurricane...

 How many months has it been? 5 or 6? I'm stopping to care to even count the months, let alone the days that this storm has raged in me.

Sometimes I wonder, in despite of all that I'm hearing in prayer, is this really the will of God? Am I suffering in vain? Is there a way out? Because there are times when I just don't want to remain in the rain.

"Hard times will come, but don't fear for I am with you", I heard one December morning after prayer. A few days after this I felt all my walls crashing down.

With this came the unnerving sense that these "hard times" won't be short lived. I guess I have too many things to learn before I move into this new transition in my life.

Sometimes I wonder, is this a punishment from God? His way of telling me that I did wrong in getting out of seminary? I have no desires of going back, but is that a sign that God isn't calling me for that or just my selfish desires? I pray that in reality I am being guided by Him, because in the end, He knows better than I do.

All these questions that are mingled with an almost endless anxiety (I've been suffering with anxiety since I was little kid), plus all the things that I have described in past blog posts (yes, I'm STILL in pain over those events) are part of this storm. Oh and the waiting, I never liked waiting.

But I would be lying if I said that I don't feel peace in my prayer. I would be lying if I said that no good fruits are coming out of it. I would be lying if I said that God hasn't helped me at all.

The fact that I'm still here is all due to His unending Grace, and I have nothing really, to complain about.

But sometimes I wonder, I hope I'm being guided by you, my dear God, for without you I am nothing.

Photo Credit: El Frito.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A New Ministry opportunity for the Summer...

One of my dreams in life is to have a full time ministry. That was the main thing that impulsed me into seminary a few years ago, but discerning that the priesthood or religious life isn't my calling, I was again looking for options to fulfill my dream. I even was concerned with the idea that maybe God wasn't calling me to full time ministry, but still, the desire persisted in my heart.

I was given the opportunity to participate in a 40 day journey called SummerXChange with InnerChange, an ecumenical missionary order. They were the founder of Comunidad San Dimas, which is the community where I volunteer for my youth ministry.

I am very excited about this opportunity to live with this community for the summer. God willing, I will be staying in Oakland for the summer, where InnerChange is starting a new team. I feel that my ministry is in San Francisco, but this 40 day journey with InnerChange will help me discern if God is calling me to this kind of life.

You can find  more about SummerXChange here.

Prayers are certainly appreciated and needed!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Youth Ministry.

It's been two interesting weeks to say the least. Life is giving me the opportunity of choices and decisions, decisions that can have serious repercussions in my life.

It hasn't been easy, but then again it never is. Without getting too much into the details, I have been offered two ministry options; I have also been rethinking my role at my current ministry, the difficulties that accompany it given my peculiar situation that I described in other posts, and whether I should continue in it.

Thanks be to God, I feel that I have been given clarity on the matter, and I hope that I am doing His will in the end, though it is impossible to completely purify our motives.

The ministry continues with its up and downs, as it always has. Last Thursday, two of our boys came drunk and made a big spectacle. It is hard to deal with these situations, and can be potentially dangerous. One of them even wanted to get in a fight with me. This was surprising because I have been ministering with this kid for quite a while now.

The meeting was almost canceled. No, let me rephrase that. We practically had no meeting. All of our energies  occupied in trying to control the situation.

In one of my visits to Juvenile Hall I saw a kid who was playing with a car that doubled as a candy dispenser. An oddity to be sure. He was so concentrated with his candy-giving toy, that I could hardly speak to him about anything, let alone God and the Bible.

"How did you get that?" I finally asked him. "In a Bible study, I gave the right answer to a question and I won". "Oh really? What was the question?"."Who was Jesus' betrayer". "Judas, right?". "Is it Judas?! I said Simon".

Sure, Peter's denial of Jesus can be portrayed as betrayal, but still, my guess is that whoever organized the Bible study just wanted to make the kid happy. We decided to play chess for the time remaining, where I lost miserably. Need to get back to chess.

I saw the guy who was drunk last Thursday and wanted to fight with me, who also happens to be Marcos. "Hey I wanted to talk to you about last Thursday". He smiled and just said "I know, estaba pedo (drunk)!", then he added, "I feel bad about it...I f***ed up man, I'm telling you man to man". That is the closest he could get to an apology, which was enough for me.

Photo Credit: KirrilyRobert.