She is interning with Pioneer61, a ministry dedicated to rescuing homeless boys in Tete, Mozambique, giving them a new identity as dearly loved sons of Abba Father, co-heirs with Christ, and dwelling places of the Holy Spirit. These boys have been tossed aside by society and run off from place to place to place, until they ended up at their current living quarters - the city dump.
We are raising funds for their Shekinah Healing Home to be built and the boys themselves are helping to build it, but until it is built, this is their home. Brooke and the team from Harvest School 17 felt led to experience life as the boys do by sleeping at the dump. They took nothing with them. Pioneer61 founders, Nick and Marlene dropped them off last night, choosing not to stay with them, so they got a true feel for what it's like to live among them with no interpreter.
Brooke texted to let me know what was happening and to ask me to pray...um...helloooo...my baby is about to sleep in a DUMP!! Of course, I'm going to pray!!! She said not to worry, because they had three big Alabama boys on the team plus a guy who looks like Jesus. I told her I wasn't worried, but I was going to call on some angels...not the pretty ones who sing in the choir...the big, muscle-bound bodyguard ones!!
Nick posted a picture to Facebook of the team standing in a circle holding hands with the boys, surrounded by garbage. Several people had commented on the picture and I felt led to write the following:
Praying the radiance of His glory is seen for miles around...and no one will be able to fathom that it's coming from, of all places, a dump! Kinda like the first Christmas, huh?
I had sent an email to our church family asking them to pray for Brooke and team as they slept at the dump. We have services Friday evenings for adults and Sunday mornings for families, but Eddy and I didn't attend last night, because of a birthday party for our son. This morning I got the following email from a friend who was there (who had NOT seen my facebook comment, since she doesn't have a facebook!):
We all prayed last night at The Nest for Brooke. I had a picture and was praying through it in my own heart as others were praying out loud…..and then [someone else] prayed exactly what I was seeing! Not feeling especially nostalgic or Christmas focused, I saw Brooke and the team and the boys out there in that smelly ole dump just like the shepherds to whom the angels came and announced the birth of Jesus. So I prayed the glory of God would fill that place where they were last night. And I thought of how that is just what Jesus came to do…..reach everyone with His love and good news…..from those living in the dump, to those of us living in Williamson County, TN! And I also thought of Brooke being much like Jesus himself in her going. She has left her own comforts and privileged life to love on the lowly and destitute and those without hope, unless she is willing to come to them and bring them the good news. Anyway, it was a beautiful and powerful thing I was experiencing and I pray she had a taste of it.
Brooke (not knowing about ANY of this correspondence) sent the following update:
My life is changed!...[She then directed me to read her facebook status, which said, "We had the honor of spending the night with our boys in the dump where they are living right now in the city. They made beds for us out of giant rocks, gave us their only sheets and served us dinner. God has done a huge work in them and begun to transform them. They kept saying we are their family. It was such an amazing experience getting to see how they live every single night. Now I know how to pray for and relate to them and raise awareness to get their home built soon! We are so wrecked today. Jesus blessed us so much through our boys"]...these boys have begun to be transformed and it's incredible. They were moving giant rocks and stuff, making us beds and serving us their dinner. They said we were family and they would protect us from the bad guys. We all slept in a pile together in the same area....The oldest, who's their leader had a sheet keeping him warm an he looked over to me and asked if I was cold, 'cause I didn't have one. I told him I was fine, but he asked like three times, then he said, "No. You are cold", then he put his sheet on me. So sweet taking care of his sister. I almost started crying right there. None of them speak English, but somehow I was like the translator. I don't know how I did it, but I did! We literally felt the Presence while we were out there last night. It was so peaceful where we were and just across the street was partying and fighting.
Oh Emmanuel, was this what it was like for you? You left the comforts of Your Home - Heaven to be born in a stinky stable. You did it because of Your love for Your people. You did it for the least of these. You did it for the poor and the poor in spirit. You came to show us what The Father is like. You came to make a way for us to be like You. Brooke was like You last night. She reflected The Father's glory in a very dark place. She went to love the least of these. But the amazing thing is that she was the one who was loved.
Honestly, I can't imagine a more beautiful expression of loving The One and loving the one...