We constantly talk and hear about how great heaven will be once we get there. The pearly gates, the streets lined with gold, and being in the presence of God are all incredible things to look forward to—no more pain and no more suffering, just immense joy and contentment in being with our Creator. But one thing that tends to get lost in the shuffle, and less screen time, is raising up of the forgotten, where people whom our world tends to overlook and cast aside, are brought to the forefront, shown an incredible love and appreciation for being nothing more than who God created them to be.
We truly believe that we get small glimpses of heaven here on earth, and in Mobile, AL, amid all the chaos, there are glimmers that shine bright in what seem to be dark times. In a small church on Victory Avenue, there is a church family that meets together—full of diversity and love. The multicultural aspect of Trinity Family is an incredible representation of the Kingdom of God, a beautiful gathering that is defined by how they raise up people instead of bring people down.
After a time of worship, one of the members of the church, with the encouragement of Pastor Scott Moore, steps up to the microphone to lead the prayer charge. What’s beautiful about this scene is that, while many places and organization create special places for their patrons with special needs, Trinity Family provides a place for them to be on the forefront, on a platform to lead the church. The pride on the face of this young man as he leads the church is only matched by the beaming pride and reassurance of his church and pastor looking back on him with loving eyes.
Fortunately for those new to the church, this was just the beginning. Shortly after that, a passage of Scripture was read by a student no older than 10 or 11 years old, who lived just across the street from the church with his grandmother. We found out later that, after seeing one of his classmates read in the service weeks before, he had been begging for a chance to read.
At some churches, there is a schedule and “the production” must stay on track, so a perfect reader is picked for a flawless production. But instead, Trinity Family concentrated on a moment that was perfect and flawless from the Kingdom perspective. In this intimate church family, the congregation patiently waited as the student read, sometimes stumbling through the words and occasionally looking up for help. It was a priceless reading of Isaiah 40 that was more than just a reading of Scripture; it was another chain broken, in a neighborhood that has been bound for too long.
Trinity Family Ministries’ Scott and Katie Moore, like all of our partners, are stepping into the frontlines of spiritual warfare. They are not fighting for a block of property in the neighborhood, but for the hearts found there. Each day they arm themselves for disappointment and discouragement, but constantly look to the hill of Calvary for assurance that they are fighting the right fight. They look for reinforcement from God that they are not alone, and that they are making a difference.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
It’s moments like the ones above that offer hope. There are also moments that do not: like driving all over the neighborhood in search of one student for an after school program, only to find her and hear that she doesn’t want to come, she would rather be somewhere else. There are the innocent prayers of a 9-year-old asking God to protect his friends and loved ones…that are sometimes drowned out by gunshots and senseless violence in the streets.
How do you continue to persevere when it feels like not only the world, but your neighborhood, isn’t completely with you? While everything else around us seems to be falling apart, God comes patiently offering and bringing us a full life. He doesn’t ask for us to do more than we are able, He just asks that we would meet with Him and trust Him. When we do that, He will put us exactly where we need to be, and even though we may stumble, he is standing right next to us encouraging us. Even if we forget what to say, all we need to do is look up and He will be there to guide us and give us the words.
And even if we claim we don’t want or need His help, He will be back there tomorrow to pick us up, same time, same place, always faithful to provide a glimmer in the Kingdom.