Please pray for for my friend and fellow urban minister Joe Huizenga and Roseland Christian Ministries … he’s been called in to help the relatives of an eight year old girl who was murdered in Roseland earlier today. Her little 5 year old cousin was also shot and has a bullet lodged in her brain.
Lets not only pray for the family and community but also for Pastor Joe Heizenga… its hard to explain how much these situations drain a minister…
Unfortunately I’ve probably known over 100 people who have been murdered and I can’t tell you how many other serious crisis situations I’ve been through. From personal experience, I am asking for prayer, encouragement, and support for urban ministers.
I know besides this incident, just within the last couple months Pastor Joe has faced another difficult funeral, saw a couple teens chasing each other with guns, was involved in an anti violence campaign after another young child was murdered, and has had many other high pressure crisis situations. Please pray and do all you can to encourage this young minister. See RoselandChristianMinistries.org if you are not familiar with this ministry.
Please pray for the other urban missionaries that you know. I often wondered if some of the health conditions Rev. Tony Van Zanten (one of my heros) were related to to the toils of long term urban ministry. Campus Crusade’s Agape Center (Rev.Milton Massie & a wonderful staff) is also located in Roseland and has been through some trying times. I also ask for prayer for myself as the Board of Directors has requested that I seek counseling for Post Traumatic Stress.
HOW TO PRAY FOR URBAN MINISTERS…
Pray for protection not just from physical harm but also from all harm. Pray for their families and their needs. And pray that God will show himself strong, mighty & powerful!
The needs of urban Chicago seem hopeless and overwhelming… with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible! One by one, lives can be transformed through the awesome power of God! Pray that the Lord will empower us to: “preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Although there are many negative headlines and news stories let’s not forget there is alot of good things too. There is a multitude of young people who say no to the gangs on a daily basis- Their story is never told on the “news”.There are moms and dads in spite of challenging circumstances who are great role models to their kids – their story is also never on the “news”.
2 Thess. 3 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
Video Christian Testimony of a Chicago Heights Police Officer – Joe Stith, Sr.
Feb. 2011 update:
I latter found out the person who called Pastor Joe Heizenga was my dear friend Carolyn Zigler who works for Roseland Christian Ministries’ Strong Tower Homeless shelter. We don’t want to dwell on it but early violent death is a reality in Urban America – & it is not just the gang bangers who are affected. I’ve known 4 people that have been murdered this past year. Please pray for the families who lost their loved ones. I’d especially like you to pray for my friend Joanne. A few days before Christmas her daughter Marquita was murdered. I knew Marquita as a precious little girl years ago while I was pastor of New Life. Anyway Joanne now has the responsibility of raising Marquita’s two children and is facing many challenges. (Also pray for Lavetta who has been a strong supporter of our ministry, her son was murdered last summer. Many of you know my assistant Jeff Bryson, this was a relative of his).