For a long time I desired to spend the summer in Pittsburgh. Having spent many Friday nights doing homeless street outreach since I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with one of Pittsburgh's best homeless ministries.
My summer consisted of lots of relational ministry, overcoming personal biases, and spiritual growth.
Relational ministry is the hallmark of Living Ministry. In the ministry they not only cares for the physical needs of the homeless but also exercise great effort to learn the person's name and important information about them. Trust is a valuable commodity on the streets among our homeless friends who have experienced a lot of let down. Over half way through my internship I was able to see my rapport grow with the homeless to the place where I could visit them without having to bring food or clothing.
Overcoming biases started early on during training. I realized what some of my biases were and I sought to overcome them. It was hard at times to look past them when I saw them being confirmed time and time again, but it was a blockade preventing me from seeing the potential that Christ has placed in that person.
Spiritual growth was the final way to describe my experience. I was surrounded in an environment with mature male leadership that has overcome many trials that has led to each of them having a deep abiding relationship with the Lord. There is an old axiom which says "more is caught than taught" and I can say looking back months ago that I have grown so much from that environment and seek to pass on what I learned to my peers at college.
My summer spent with LIVING ministry as an intern was challenging, but so rewarding. I was surrounded by a team of missionaries throughout my experience that encouraged me and quickly became a second family. I was given opportunities to handle large responsibilities while also receiving encouraging mentorship to be successful. The work and vision of LIVING ministry addresses one of the most prevalent issues in the city of Pittsburgh. My time at LIVING ministry has helped me to connect with some of the most socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in Pittsburgh. This internship has shown me what people can accomplish with compelling vision and humble servant's hearts.