Joseph Lee – Post Philly Testimony


On the day we left for missions I was scared and excited. I didn’t know what would happen at Philly. For me this was like going into deep water because it made me to step out of my comfort zone.

When we arrived at the CSM base it was a lot different than what I expected. The outside looked like a normal apartment that needed some renovation. We went inside and started to unpack and we learned that we weren’t the only ones staying at the base. Another church stayed with us. They were nice, but we didn’t really talk to them.

After unpacking we did to our first activity, the prayer tour. It was a tour of the city and as we went on the tour we prayed things for the city. This tour set the mood for the missions. Our hosts told us statistic about the city and told us what we should pray about during the tour. These stats about the city made me wonder about God’s love for this city, especially because many people here were homeless, many who were just kids. The homeless were caught in a cycle of poverty. This made me question God’s love.

Few things surprised me from that tour. The first was that we prayed with our eyes open. Another thing that surprised me was that the parts we went on tour were absolutely different from what you would expect to be Philadelphia. We saw a lot of art on the side of the wall, but we also saw very broken, run down, and dirty buildings.

Before the second day of missions, even though I knew that was wrong, I thought that God perhaps didn’t love equally. Sure God might be using people to help the city, but it was just hard for me to accept that the God we believe allowed the terrible conditions present in this city.

We served at a ministry called Whosever Gospel. There I met many people dealing with homelessness and other with problems. Yet they were changing and I knew that it was God was changing them because God loves them. Some used the ministry to get out of addiction, to obtain jobs, and even begin to trust in Jesus!

After that day helping out at the thrift shop, we helped out at a soup kitchen called Chosen 300. There, we served around 300 people and I knew God was with us and that he was there with the volunteer/team and the pastor. At the end of the message 2 people were saved to Christ. This made me begin to think that God was there and that he really loves this city.

We also served at a place that was like an after school program. The kids were about 5-14 years old. Some of them were older than me. Thankfully I was placed in the 1-2 graders class. It was difficult for the students to open up to me since I was a stranger. Eventually though, they did open up and began to talk to me. Many times when we were leaving, I felt that I’d done a poor job. Yet a fellow team member encouraged me, saying that as long as I tried my best, that was the good enough.

On Saturday when we finally returned after 5 days of missions and 1 day of debrief, I was glad to be back home. Our team was also thankful that our church van survived the week without any problems.

After that week in Philly, I now realize that God is the same, God is very strong, and very much alive. I learned that God loves everyone, even the broken, hungry, and sinful. I also learned to love others even if it’s someone that you hate or someone that despises you.

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