Have you ever had God throw a wrench in your plans?
Yeah, me too. Usually, it is not a fun experience. It can throw you off your game and disrupt your rhythm. This summer at Third Street, we felt a wrench hit the gears. Due to a need to refocus my (Nathan’s) time and energy toward a sustainability plan for Third Street Academy, we decided to cancel our summer camps and place all of our Community Impact efforts in the hands of a team of volunteers. Initially, this was frustrating for me, however, it has been such a joy to see God work in and through these volunteers! We have seen more kids from the neighborhood than ever before. We have partnered with Reimage Church, Camp Connect, Rachel Parker Suzuki Violin, Christ Presbyterian Church, St Peter Catholic Church, and so many more individuals to create space for God to work in our community. He is a faithful God.
Often, when God throws a wrench in your works, it is really for your good. It brings clarity of calling, and releases us from feeling like it is all on our shoulders. All of us must hold our plans loosely. All of us must be willing to let God throw a wrench in the works. He is much better at planning than we are.
God’s plan has involved Him shifting my time to inviting others to become Ministry Partners with what God is doing at Third Street. It is an amazing work full of faith, frustration, joy, pain, hope, and love. It is a work that changes lives. Not just the lives on the young men in the Academy or the youth from the neighborhood, it is changing my life and can change yours too.
A story from 2nd grade.
As I was walking in to the cafeteria one morning, he was sitting at the table after having completed his task of setting the tables. He yells across the room “MR. WHITE, COME HERE!”. As I make my way over, he pulls up his pant leg to show me a sweatband wrapped around his ankle. “Look! I have to be home by 7, just like my dad.” His father had a parole ankle bracelet and this young man wanted to be like him. My heart hurt in that moment. This is not how it should be.
This young man has also proved to be one of the strongest leaders in the classroom. One morning, I stopped by the door of his room and watched him walk over to his friend’s desk and teach him how to solve a difficult addition problem with kindness and care. This was a moment of joy. As I stood there in the door smiling, proud of this young man, I saw how much potential he has to change his family’s trajectory if we continue to invest in him.
I would love, love, love to share more of the stories of God’s faithfulness at Third Street Education Center and specifically in Third Street Academy. More than share them, I would love for you to live them. If you want to hear our stories, and let our stories become your stories, put your contact info in the form below and I will connect with you to set up breakfast, coffee, or lunch.
Hope is certain,