The first time I met Amy she was blowing a large stream of bubbles through a sawed-off water bottle, one of the many creative uses for discarded items you learn at Juntos. As the stream grew we talked about her growing up and what she wants to do with her life. Julie is 10 and her answer shocked me. “I want to be like my friend’s mom”, she said, “She gets paid for playing video games all day.” Now she had my attention. If Amy had really figured out a way to get paid for gaming all day I wanted in.
It turns out her friend’s Mom, like many others in Amy’s circle of influence, is on public assistance. It’s not that she gets paid for gaming; it’s that she gets paid because she isn’t working. So this is Amy’s aspiration: to chill at home, playing video games. I was glad for the chance to tell Amy that God made her for something more. That the gospel tells us that God made us to flourish, to thrive.
The Bible also tells us, as Christians, what we need to do with the gospel. When Jesus told us to go with the gospel, He said go local, go regional and go to the ends of the earth (Mark 16:15). It’s not a multiple choice; it’s a mandate to take the gospel to Amy and to others in the nearest and farthest regions who don’t yet know that they have been made to thrive.
It’s a privilege to go local with the gospel and to hang out with Amy and others like her at Juntos. There is a certainty in my faith that I’ve gained from seeing God at work in Juntos. To see people like Manny, who grew up in Juntos and has now graduated from UNM, works fulltime and is a leader at Juntos, thrive! To hear stories like Danny’s, a dad with two kids in Juntos, who teaches on Monday nights. His story about how God takes our brokenness and makes us flourish is one of the most inspirational I’ve heard. What a blessing to learn people’s stories, to see how God has transformed their lives and how he uses people just like you and I to do it. I’m so glad for the gospel and for a place like Juntos to see it grow. For me, it takes God’s kingdom out of the abstract and shines the light on its reality here and now.
I just know that Amy, and other Juntos kids, are going to make a difference in their neighborhoods. Someday a kid is going to say, “I want to be like Amy, she is thriving.” If it weren’t for Juntos I might miss it.
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The Women’s Serving Team is hosting a Mugs & Muffins event August 10th from 9:00 – 11:00am in the Fellowship Hall. Christine Leggett will be leading us in a discussion about the spiritual battle we each have with the desires of our heart. It will be a morning of fellowship, rich discussion and encouragement as we come together to study God’s Word. Praying you can join us. Don’t forget your favorite coffee mug! Please RSVP to Christine if you need childcare.
You can go on a mission trip and never leave Albuquerque. International Students Incorporated (ISI) helps international students when they arrive in the U.S. ISI has a chapter at UNM helping pick up students as they arrive at the airport, providing temporary home stays, helping find housing, English as a second language training and friendship partners. A new school year is getting started with hundreds of international students arriving at UNM. Please consider helping in one of the ways noted above. Alternatively, we will be providing lunch for students and volunteers on Wednesday, August 7 (signup sheets will be in the foyer). If you are interested in helping or just want more information please contact Vince Tidwell.
MCC’s Shine Partnership is hosting a dessert night Wednesday, August 14 at 7:00pm at Ashley Procter’s house! Current Shine volunteers, anyone curious about what Shine is, or those interested in becoming a Shine volunteer are invited! Contact Ashley if you have questions or need directions.
Save the Date: MCC Elders are hosting a 4-week Foundations Class starting September 15 and running through the first week in October. This class is designed to better help you get to know MCC - who we are, what we believe and why, and how to get connected. Please sign up with Sarah.