Some nights are harder than others, not because certain people have more value but because sometime someone tugs a little harder on my heart strings. When we are out we can see anyone from 50 year olds to teens and its the teens that really break my heart. I think because I worked with teens and I know how confused they are, how they are still trying to find their way. I can even imagine them talking to their girlfriends about coming down into Detroit just to see what it’s all about. To experience something new that would give them a rush a story they can go back to the suburbs with, but what they don’t understand is they have just put themselves in a situation where “no” is not an option. Where the word “no” is a suggestion that doesn’t have to be honored.
As we drive by I see a young girl standing on the corner with her cell phone glued to her ear so much that she was literally trying to decide if she would stay on the phone and ignore me or answer my question about receiving a lunch and hygiene kit. She decides to answer but declines and says she’s good but I know she is not, because if she was good she wouldn’t be standing on that corner in the middle of darkness. We pass by her a couple more times and at one point another girl joins so we decide to ask again if they would like lunches or hygiene kits and both girls playing on their phones, laughing, smoking a cigarette said no. They were acting like they were hanging out at the mall waiting to check out cute boys not at a really bad corner in Detroit waiting to have their world turned upside down. I hadn’t seen these two before and I couldn’t get them out of my mind. Wondering were things went wrong for them to put them in that spot that night. Was it child molestation, was it rebellion against controlling parents, was it a boyfriend that tried to make them think this is how they show him love, or was it a game to them. I may never know why those cute teen girls all dressed in their Pink outfits lookin like partridge creek girls were ever out there, but I do know this, they are one of many.
How do we stop this? How do we hold people to a higher standard so they stop thinking there is nothing wrong w/ paying for sex? How do we show Christ’s love to them so much so, that they are crying and begging for help? I wish we had the answer but no one does. You see even those who beg and cry to get off, once off almost always find their way back and it’s not because they enjoy it, it’s because it’s all they know. See on the streets no one is pointing a finger at them or judging them because everyone on the streets all have the same struggle, they are all addicts longing for a change, hoping to numb the pain. This is their family! Family excepts each other the way they are no matter what. Family sticks with you even if they don’t agree.
We come up to a girl who wants prayer and says “sorry let me put my crack pipe away” then looks to heaven and says “God forgive me”. We pray with her and then move on to another girl who says “sorry you had to see me like this, I feel so shameful”. But this is all backwards because we should all be family, right? Aren’t we all children of God and if not when did that change? We start to drive and God says “yes we are all family”. He says “there should be no segregation we should all just be the body of Christ working together to make everyone feel like family”. Wow, that was so eye opening to me, yes my family! The drug addict, prostitute, the teen finding their way, they are all my family. And you know what, I would move mountains for my family.
I don’t know about you but if someone loved me at my worst and just encouraged me and held my hand through this life would I be more open to trusting their God? I believe the answer is yes, you know why, because as one of our team members pointed out, they don’t call us the food van or supply van even though we give all those things, they call us the prayer van. Because deep down they long for that relationship with their creator that they don’t feel like they can have. They feel regret, shame, guilt, and the list can go on and on. This is something that’s taught, they are not born feeling this way so who in their life lied to them telling them there is a criteria to come to Jesus. My Jesus says come just as you are, no stipulations just come. He is a God of love, mercy, and grace and one day when I die and go to heaven to meet Him face to face I believe I will see a lot of the girls we love on the streets and they will come running to show me that they are whole and every hole in their heart is plugged and repaired by a savior who walked beside them and never gave up. Why, because He continues to show us He went after the one, so I want to know which “ONE” are you going after.
Founder of JJ’s House
All Worthy of Love – Outreach
Jason, Courtney, & JJ are currently living in Detroit. They started JJ’s House a foster/adoption home on the east side of Detroit that provides a family environment and stability for children in need as well as a transition home for pregnant girls. Through this venture & location they have rescued a handful of local foster children, while making major renovations to a 1800 sq ft space that will host a house mother & up to 4 pregnant girls from various crisis pregnancy centers, the street, or word of mouth. They are also diligently involved in their community through outreach, local churches, coaching city sports for children, literacy tutoring for children, and neighboring well. They are “for” life!