Brief Bio

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Quezon City, Metro-Manila, Philippines
I am a runner, pastor, sociologist, teacher, and missionary. After living in Chicago for 6 years, I discerned a call to go to Manila, Philippines to live and work among the urban poor, and combine my passions for ministry, running, and the oppressed. After serving in the Philippines in 2012 and 2013, I returned to the United States for two years to finish my dissertation, get ordained, spend time with my family, and work at a neighborhood center in Kansas City. Since then, I have been working in the Philippines with Companion With the Poor as a missionary. Each day I look forward to how God will direct my steps as I live into His work of restoring a broken world.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Football and the Homeless

Friday, August 24, 2007

I met Moses today. After reading and putting Exodus 2:23-25 (where God hears the crys of the Israelites in bondage) in an e-mail today about the practical needs of the shelter, God showed up, conveying that He has also heard the cry of those in bondage in the city of Chicago.

Let me back up a second. I woke up this morning/afternoon at 1:00pm. This is coming after volunteering at both the soup kitchen and shelter from 4:30pm-3:00am the last towo nights. Upon waking up and eating breakfast I read an article in the Chicago Tribune about homelessness. Then after reading my Bible and taking a short nap, I heading out to the shelter around 4:30pm on my bike (they did not need help in the soup kitchen tonight). My goal was to make contact with some local churches around the shelter (Harrison and Sacramento) to see if they'd be willing to start a prayer meeting once a week for the neighborhood. Though locating four churches thanks to Cedric (one of the shelter guests) and Father Larry, it was in a much greater way that God showed up! I will relate this experience through a prayer to God Almighty - the orchestrator and friend of sinners and the oppressed.

"Lord, Creator and Sustainer, Reedemer and Friend, Orchestrator and Savior,
You are a friend of all those I have worked with the past couple nights at the shelter. And you want them to all be friends with you. You are a friend of Cedric, Christian, Melissa, Heidi, Charles, Dennis, Ezra, Charles, Mark, Matt, Carmelo, Ade, and all the others. You are a Savior to Cedric and Carmelo - and they are not afraid to share it. Thank you. And thank you for hearing the cry of the poor and the oppressed in Chicago. After tonight I know that you have the West side of Chicago, and all of Chicago for that matter, on your heart.

As you know, I rode my bike to the shelter tonight and a few blocks before saw some white people setting up a tent that said Chicago Hope on it. Curious as to what it was, and already going in for the purpose of learning about the neighborhood (you did that too - despite hearing from the other shelter volunteers that it was a dangerous neighborhood), I headed back to the tent/park after stopping in at the shelter. And then the fun began.

As you know, I started to talk with EJ, trying to see if he knew anything about what was going on (at that time there were guys in football jerseys practicing). In talking with him I realized he was one of the guys I had just helped sign up for the shelter that night. He told me there was going to be a football game and channel 7 was going to be there. Wanting to more I went over and talked with a white guy who was just standing around waitng to help out at the tent. He told me He was one of your children Lord, his name was Sam, and he was working with an organization called Alpha over by Chicago Hope, a new Christian High School that he said had opened up a couple years back down the street. Sam is from England and has been in America for the last 5 years (and even got excited when I mentioned Hillsong). Needless to say, Sam introduced me to Bob, the man who started the school and the SAME GUY that was interviewed at Willow Chicago one of the times I went in when Bill Hybols preached about Holy Discontent.

Lord, you went on to lead me to talking with Bob's daughter Tanner, his younger daughter Lacy, and one of his sons Luke. I also met his wife who told me we could coordinate handing out hot dogs and hamburgers to the neighborhood and homeless during the next home game (October 2nd). Lord please grant success to this endevor. Finally I talked with Hannah, the daughter of a man who took 12 of the guys from Chicago Hope's football team to Michigan in the summer. God, you also blessed me with having $15.00 in my pocket which went a long way in buying hotdogs/ hamburgers and drinks for seven homeless people including Ade, a guy from Nigeria, and Alisha, a young 5-10 year old girl (who was one of the other ladies I fed's daughter). Chicago Hope (a school of 120 students) won the game, defeating a school called Clemente (with 2500 kids) by the score of 19 to 6 - a David verse Goliath if you will. I couldn't help but see how much like Facing the Giants, Remember the Titans, and Second Chance the experience was - especially with a prayer over the loud speakers between both teams in the beginning of the game. I do lift up and request healing for the boy who was hurt at the end of the game too - be with him and heal him.

You are God! And You are Good! And You are Love! Thanks too for giving me a chance to get to know and love on the volunteers here at the Marquard, and may Your Will be done on earth (and in Chicago) as it is in Heaven - even here in Western Chicago! I love You Lord! And it is nights like these where I KNOW YOU ARE REAL, that you brought me here (to the shelter to volunteer) for a reason, and that you have your hand over my life. Amen!"

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