Exactly a year ago I was preparing to go to St. Augustine, Florida for spring break. The deposit had been made, plans had been made and I had not thought twice about it. However, that Thursday night at Intervarsity, we had a speaker that was involved with an urban ministry in Newark, NJ come and speak. I had no clue where Newark was, had never heard of this ministry and had never been passionate about serving inner city kids. Danny spoke and I listened. I thought it was awesome what he and his wife Kimberely were doing. They were an awesome, young couple with a desire to commit their life to the Lord and they were being used in incredible ways. As I listened to their story, I began to think about changing plans. The thought actually crossed my mind about skipping break at the beach. What?!! It made absolutely NO sense! I didn’t understand why I felt like I should go but I was trusting there was something greater in store for me. So, I canceled beach plans and decided to head up to Newark NJ (Wherever that was!) and serve for a week.
That was probably one of the best decisions I made sophomore year. I lived on the outskirts of the city of Newark and experienced a way of life you just don’t see as a middle class white girl living at college. I saw hurting, broken people that just need to be loved on. I played with kids who were practically raising themselves and had conversations with a homeless man for the first time in my life. It was so worth it. The Lord taught me so much about how to love unconditionally and about Himself.
There was no hesitation this year. I knew I wanted to go back and I’m so thankful I did. While I am exhausted and behind on work…. I wouldn’t trade this past week for anything. As dirty, broken, and forgotten as that city may seem, it’s so easy to see God working. Safe Haven Urban Redemption is changing the lives of so many kids that have otherwise been forgotten. It is a privilege to serve them and their community. Please enjoy some of the beautiful faces I worked with this week and be praying for this ministry. Pray for each one of these precious children. Each one of them has their own story.
If you would like more information or would like to support Safe Haven, you can visit their website by clicking HERE!
My absolute favorite!
This is a video I put together from the week! It’s long but worth it! Enjoy!