Impossible things through improbable people!

posted Sep 5, 2012, 8:10 PM by Phil Clark   [ updated Aug 27, 2015, 12:16 PM by Sonrise Lightmyway ]
September 5, 2012

As I reflect on my experience at Light My Way these last 4 years, it has been nothing less than monumental in terms of grasping how God brings revival and restoration to individuals and to communities.  Serving with the ministry team at Light My Way has challenged my view of God and what it means to walk with God humbly.  The team has demonstrated to me how God delights in pouring out his grace on lowly, broken, humble people.  Most of them have experienced incarceration at some point in their lives.  They acknowledge their own brokenness and need for a Savior constantly.  They have a growing sense of their worth as children of the Creator.  They simply will not try to take credit for what only God can do through his Spirit.  Through their submission to God, lives are changing.  Hope and restoration is being brought to dark, lonely, scary places in Washington and Multnomah counties.   James 4:6 says that "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble."  We are reminded that it was Jesus who hand picked a rag tag  bunch of disciples to change the world with.  He picked second stringers and not the elite religious achievers of his time.  He called them one by one,  believed in them all the way to the cross, and set the world on fire through them. Acts 4:13 describes the courage of Peter and John, ordinary, untrained, uneducated men and how the religious elite were astonished by them and took note that they had been with Jesus.  As was then, the community now is taking note that these men and women who were labeled "convicts" have been with Jesus. God does impossible things through improbable people.

Since they won't brag....I will on their behalf.    Our ministry team's dedication to welcoming and serving anyone who comes through the door at Light My Way, no matter what their past, has demonstrated community leadership and true justice.  Their commitment to meeting together for worship, for prayer, for mutual encouragement through the Word and through serving one another in times of crisis and in times of joy has set an example of how faith-based communities can shape culture.  Their reputation for encouraging offenders through positive community has spread across Washington and Multnomah counties.  In fact, their reputation as a faith-based service provider to those in recovery goes beyond Oregon borders all the way to Washington D.C. as was demonstrated when Prison Fellowship's president came and spoke at one of our Light My Way Sunday worship services recently.  Who would have thought God was in the process of doing this improbable thing when Sonrise Church started offering a safe campus to worship at for a few sex offenders in our community.

Oregon has the lowest recidivism rate in the nation.  That is something we can be proud of as Oregonians.   Our own county is one of the most progressive counties in Oregon in the implementation of results-based programs to lower recidivism rates.  Being recognized by our county as a faith-based partner who is also demonstrating results is a great honor.  It implies that we have become a model program as a faith-based service provider.  I brag about them, but they would not.   They would only boast in the God who gives grace to the humble.

This afternoon, members of our ministry team, including those who were convicts in their past lives,  were introduced at the Washington County Re-entry Council meeting.  They were recognized for their efforts to bring additional resources to the council.  .  This council is an amazing group of innovators who are changing how resources are being delivered to those in recovery.  Another opportunity for Light My Way to model community service in ways that other churches and counties across the nation can emulate.  Another example of impossible things happening through improbable people.

May those who come to Light My Way, despite their past, experience the love of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.  May they realize their incredible worth in him and their potential to change the world.  As they grow in that knowledge, may God use these improbable servants to do impossible things..