Sunday I went to church @ the church we are staying at. It’s a COGIC church and I must say it was quite beautiful. There were mad older women EVERYWHERE (Titus 2) baybee. It just happened to be women’s day too, so one of the wise older ladies was supposed to "preach" but she really just got up there and told us some truth LOL about life. She was coming from Hebrews and talking about faith. She just talked to us about her life, and led us back to faith. She talked about Jesus, admonished us towards Jesus, and pointed to Jesus. It was lovely and refreshing.
Then we had prayer and they called folk up to the aisles to be prayed over by some of the older ladies, and I went. And am happy I went. I got prayed over by a wise older lady and I was so hype!! lol They were the bomb, and very seasoned and know Jesus personally. It was so obvious. Very encouraging testimonies went forth, and some cute lil 4 year girl insisted she hug me lol, that was cute cuz in her little teeny tiny voice she was like "Wait..mommy I wanna hug her..." LOL! Adorable. Church was dope.
IN addition I got unfortunate news about some other church related things back home...but...am convinced that Jesus is Lord and he uses ALL of our humanness to get his glory. And He will. I’m excited to see what He will do with this one, though it hurts for a moment.
Then back to the lab, we had staff meeting to debrief for what we were gonna do the rest of the day. The group we were hosting was starting that night. We got with them, had a meeting and gave them the rules, and a schedule. Then we went to Addis Ababa Restaurant which is an Ethiopian spot. (shout outs to Jenetta!) It was great, I tried lamb...you know how I am so...yea. It was ok but I didn’t chew it enough to really TRY it 'cause it was scary lol. A lot of the college students from the group had never really been in D.C. and none of them ever tried Ethiopian food. The important fact is that they were willing.
Then we started our Prayer Tour. What that is, is a tour through the various neighborhoods and parts of D.C., and we get out at 2 or 3 locations but for the most part we drive through and give background information, statistics, and history on each part. We began at the Capital Mall...and then continued throughout to SE etc...we ended on "Church Row". Each spot we explained etc, we prayed for particular things, like the Christians in government whenever we passed a major government building, the neighborhoods going through gentrification, the areas that had more fast food and carryouts than grocery stores, on K street where one of the highest rates of sex trafficking is present, the areas of DC where someone making minimum wage has to work 3 jobs in order to afford a 2 bedroom apartment because property taxes went up, the cost of living and how vouchers for public housing are minimal, and people are being displaced from their neighborhoods, how Anacostia is "East of the River" and is isolated from the rest of D.C. And how it just so happens that all of the things a major city wouldn’t want in its major parts is in Anacostia, like the sewage plants, Saint Elizabeth’s psych ward etc. But it is def. people who live over there. D.C. didn’t even start out as a place of living, it started out as just a political/government center. Later it was transformed into a living place.
Most of the people who work in D.C. are commuters from Maryland and VA. In certain neighborhoods, metro stations are scarce but the bus routes still run. D.C. has the largest homeless shelter in the Nation that has about 1300 beds in it. There are plenty of Christian organizations killing it for the public school, to provide supplies, tutoring, bible studies etc. for D.C. public’s schools. People are losing faith in the public school system and resorting to Charter Schools instead. Christian churches are also feeding MAD homeless people, and buying up apartment building (NICE ones) and providing low rent for people who can’t afford other spots in D.C. It's A LOT I can say but it was def sobering and encouraging knowing that there are believers out there fighting for the city and praying for its city. Like Mrs. Hawkins who lives in Anacostia and opened that spot for the kids of the neighborhood. She feeds them hot meals every day faithfully that she cooked. She gets private donations but no government funding. She cleaned that place up. Jesus has graced her with everything she needs to take care of these kids and be a Haven for them. Amen. We prayed for the city last night. We went to the church "Our Lady of Perpetual Help" last night. They are located at the top of Morris St. and we prayed. It’s the 2nd best view of D.C. in the city. It was GORGEOUS! We prayed.
Later we went back to the dorms and got ready for the next day.
In the midst of our tour I also received AMAZING news that Lid and Melissa won this competition that didn’t go into thinking they’d win. It really blessed my soul for the rest of the night. I am tremendously and indescribably proud of them for going into this thing with the mind to glorify Jesus more than themselves. Practicing and laboring to the glory of our King and not for their own namesake. That ministers to me.
It's only been a week or so since I’ve been gone from Philly. SO MUCH has happened it feels like a month. I can’t imagine how 2 weeks will feel.
-Monielle, CSM Washington DC Spring 2010 City Host