This post was written by Sarah Halberg, currently a freshman at BCOM who is looking forward to going to France on Global Internship. Thanks Sarah!
For Ministry week, all of the students went downtown on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to do street/urban ministry in downtown Minneapolis, MN. On the first day, we all met at St. Paul Lutheran Church where we got a history lesson from Mr. Wells on the history of Minneapolis. After this informing session 😉 we spent some time in prayer and worship, centering our hearts on the Lord and seeking His will for the week and for the day. Then we headed to the streets for our first day of ministry. Each of us students had a piece of cardboard, on which we wrote a testimony of what the Lord has done in our lives in a few short words. A few of them read, “FORGIVEN”, “FROM ASHES TO BEAUTY”, “I HATED THE CHURCH, NOW I’M A MISSIONARY”. With our cardboard we stood on the side of a busy road and simply held up our signs, witnessing to those who drove by in cars or to those who walked by us on the streets. I was in a neighborhood that was prominently Native American, and had the chance to talk to a couple of young ladies who were walking around reading everyone’s signs. They were open with me and let me pray for them, which encouraged them. We stood on the streets for about 2 hours and then we met together to pray and worship once again.
On the second day of ministry, there were a few different groups of specific ministries that we could participate in. The different ministries were: Native American ministry, Punk ministry, Surveys, A Prayer Booth, Muslim ministry, and a Bus ministry. I was involved in the Punk ministry. We went to Uptown were there were many counter-culture stores and cafes. During my time in Uptown, I ministered and witnessed to a few people, including a woman at a bus stop with her little girl. We talked for a while and I found out that she needed a job in order to pay for her little girl’s school. So I prayed for her, and she was really grateful that someone cared enough to pray for her. Among a few others, I also talked to a lady named Molly for a long time. She came from a Catholic High School and was hurt again and again by people in the Church. She thought every Christian was judgmental, and therefore walked away from Christianity all together. By the end of the conversation, she had a new outlook on Christians and told us that we were different; we were not like the other judgmental Christians. I was saddened to hear that Molly, along with many, many other people in the world had this view of Christians, but I was encouraged to hear that her opinion had changed after talking to us.
The third day of ministry was the day we had a barbecue. We went out and invited everyone to come to our barbecue, while others spent time setting up the barbecue. There was a really good turn out and many people from the community came for free hot dogs and games. There were games for children, basketball, face-painting, food, sidewalk chalk, free stuff, and a prayer booth. It was a great day of fun and ministering, and by the end of the day, about 20 people came to the Lord, and many others were prayed for and encouraged.
Ministry week was an amazing experience and reminded me that missions first starts in your own backyard. Jesus died for all the “punks”, poverty-stricken, and foreigners in downtown Minneapolis, and He’s asked us to give them that message.