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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A God Story to Share

A God Story
by: UBFM Member
I am most passionate about my son growing up loving who he is. I want him to know that God created him in such a unique way and at such a unique time, that he can do all things. Today, I am active and self-sustaining, with one of the greatest titles of all: Mom. I am so very thankful and hope my experience can one day inspire him as much as he has already inspired me.

I thank my God every time I remember you.                                                                                                     Philippians 1:3

When I was eighteen and in the middle of my one and only semester of college, I naively left home due to a disagreement between my father and myself. I refused to conform to an arranged life and religion, much like any rebellious and heard-headed kid might experience, but in the end my heart was broken. I felt banished, alone, and very much ready to completely let go of eighteen years. I was not meant to return home, nor to college, so instead, I became quite the waif, couch surfing, discovering new faces, new ways of living, and new ends to new worlds. Between 2008 and 2011, I had lived in and escaped from four different states and eighteen living arrangements. The void still remained as “home.” Always between jobs, I encountered new drama in every move, within each family, roommate, friend, friend of friends, and stranger I found myself living with. After years of feeling lost and alone, abusing myself, neglecting whatever grace and integrity I had left, a new chapter in my life began when I found out I was going to be a mother.

After what seemed like a lifetime away, my family and I reconnected. It is almost as if my parents and I were finally alike, on the same page. We had something in common now and that was the love for our children. It indeed brought us closer than we have ever been. This life gave me purpose, meaning, and love. Because of my son, who saved my life, and became the roots to keep me planted, growing, and prospering, I walked a path that brought me back to grace, and opened my eyes to individuals who live for the glory of God, who are good, and who share their love with a world that always has the potential to stay bright on the darkest day. There was a time when I felt let down and abandoned by what I thought God represented. He is the Father I thought I was fighting for my independence from, that I was fleeing from, and how I felt so rejected by. I opened my arms to my son on January 31, 2012. My parents opened their arms to me not long before as if there was never any gap in time. And God’s arms were always open; waiting for me to understand the kind of love He has for all of His children.    

Saturday, March 9, 2013

More than Fellowship

Last Wednesday we had a large group come out and help distribute supplies. It is so humbling to see my friends come together, at my home, to go into the community and serve our ever powerful, loving, and knowing God. This week more people showed up to help than I have seen since we started. This, in itself is a powerful statement by God’s people.

When people show up with their bikes to help I cover what we have discovered to be the politest approach. I suggest rolling up to whomever appears to be in need, greet them, and then ask if they have eaten dinner tonight. This approach is better than asking, “Are you hungry?” or, “Do you want some food?” We do not want to imply that they appear to be homeless or we are speaking to them in a condescending custom. Though, what we have found is a number of the people we speak to are not in need, nor are they poor. Many of the people tell us they are fine. However, every time someone says they are doing good and they decline a burrito, they always say, “Thank you for what you’re doing.” That is other than the occasional medical student that appears to be homeless. They will sometimes accept the offering not because they are greedy but because they are hungry. Nevertheless, we don’t simply seek out people who are affected with homelessness; we are serving any and everybody. Perhaps, someone is walking home from work and needs dinner and/or a jacket. Perhaps some teenage kids are on the streets and their parents did not make dinner. It may be difficult for them to accept a meal from a stranger but that’s, all together, a different issue. Perhaps someone just needs a friend, a conversation, or a prayer. 

I have said this before, but this organization is not simply a street ministry, it is a fellowship ministry. It is an opportunity for people of the city to come together heedless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, shape, size, or color, and connect on a personal level.  This is the message we want to UBFM to project. The greatest component is we get to do all this on a bicycle.