God has been doing some awesome things in my life and here in the city of Montreal where I'm currently at doin a missions project. Wish I had pics but I don't at the moment but I just wanted to share a few experiences. The rest is taken from an excerpt of my uni's mission blog (www.uwmissionaries.com).
'My Experiments with Truth' - Daniel Richardsen
It's 4 am...and i think I'm crazy...lol. I just feel kinda funny, elated even. Got back from a prayer walk...i never prayed this much. Never seen prostitutes come ans ask the group "are you crazy get the f outta here!" or homeless people pull out Bibles (bless the Gideons) but not understanding. Never been to the ugly side of the city in the middle of the night when its a different world and pray. I needed that. We all do.
I think my life has changed in the past few days. No really. Please let me explain.
I'm one of those people (much like a LOT of people these days unfortunately) who needs to be ceaselessly entertained by a barrage of information in any form..either music playing in the background or reading 5 million books before I die or practising basketball drills...like you always need to "do something!" just to justify your moments. But it's funny, i realised life isn't just those things; went to a secondhand bookstore with some friends and met a very loquacious + intelligent owner who proclaimed ever so wisely "I recommend living over reading any time" and by living he didn't mean expiration and inspiration of air mixture. It's a small thing but its true - so often my own life with things so ordered and set i.e. rife with schedules (as useful as it is) but I never was flexible, it was always about getting 'it' done. I needed more - to actually experience and see God move rather than just read about other's experiences and thoughts, even its the Bible. To reflect and journal to see what God has been doin in my own life instead of postponing it.
On wednesday, me and my good buddy Joel headed out for a prayer walk; it was unplanned and random, we spontaneously chose a metro stop near a suburban area in the hopes of meeting someone and maybe getting into conversations. To cut a long tale short, we didn't meet anyone and we felt totally befuddled and in the dark. "What does God want us to do?"...like it was more thsn just a random philosophical musing..this was for real. Really. And we were just sitting near the river banks where the house boats were and prayed, the wind started to blow ("is there madness in my being? or is it just the wind that blows the trees?") could feel God was moving but it was mysterious...
It was late so we decided to head back home. On the way back, we met this young kid who was just sittin out. He asked for a quarter to make a phone call to his mom. But the odd thing was, he didn't look like a typical 17 yr old kid whose mom was gonna pick up. So we invited him over and made him some supper and just talked. It's hard to hear stries like that - 'kicked out by his mom when he was 12, in youth centres where he was treated like a disease then to escape it all on the streets gettin high on drugs'. His name is Yarrow, "just like an arrow" he said. It's uncomfortable when someone shows up to ur get-together totally stoned or uses the f-word too many times. But that's it, sometimes its easy to get so afraid of tension. But we need it - thats what Martin Luther King Jr said when he was at Birmingham, AL jail, it can act as a catalyst for change.Yesterday after our outreach (which i'll get to shortly), me and Asher (who's a Canadian kid from India which is super awesome, he knows better hindi than me too) met Yarrow again outside the subway. This time he was really sober...and that conversation was so amazing..i wish I could recount it all, I don't think I could even if I wanted to. This lad posed very probing and intelligent questions - questions which a text-book "well the Bible says that.." would not suffice. Questions that require a response from the heart that needs to be glazed with humility. I saw tears in his eyes when we mentioned that the way he wanted a girl ("i dun care who she is, what she did or where she's from as long as she loves me" thing) was exactly how God felt about Him. DANG MAN! that cut me deeper than any book or song..bare flesh and bones..face to face...
I wish it has an intant perfect ending - like Four laws, accept Jesus...things solved alright great! next please! In fact i saw him earlier on a high - we're gonna help him find a place. But I know God has begun something in Him. Please pray for this kid, for strongholds to be broken and for a new life to start.
The outreach, which I meantioned earlier, involved us goin out to the East end of Montreal which is relatively poor and we just offered to help people clean out their houses or any labour work they need for FREE (you should have looked at the incredulous looks we got! haha bam). In the beginning I was just randomly picking up garbage and thinkin, "how's this ever gonna change anything?" and then it started raining..."hallelujah, God wat u doin?!" (sarcastic Richardsen questioning as raindrops mercilessly drenched me)
But you know if you stick with Him, God works in very mysterious/amazing ways. We met this Italian brothers who needed help moving and he was real happy to know that i knew a lil somethin italiano (and I learnt it to impress the ladies - man God can use anything!). They were just shocked that we would do it for free and spend time..it was so good we met all their family and learnt a lot more italian =D But Angelo took us all out for some good italian pizza (he insisted as we didn't accept money)..and said "I've never met ppl like you before...i didn't show it but i really was in trouble, i needed help bad, I don't know what I would've done without you guys" that was a testament to God.
The title of this blog is taken from the autobiography of Gandhi and it rings true. He mentioned that whatever we need to know, we already do - really there isn't a new idea at all. I just wanna challenge all of you guys to stop waiting till you're ready or read that book or go to that seminar before you start to serve God and being reckless for Him. You have God and that's more than you need and enough. Just step out even if it's small. May God be with you and bless you as you experiment with His truth in your daily lives.