Ruthann's January UPdate Establish the Work of our Hands

Schedules. Checked tasks. Daily accomplishments. Many thrive on this kind of living, myself included. I love looking at my calendar and having everyday filled with meetings, to-do lists, appointments, fun engagements, coffee/play dates and Bible studies. I love knowing and anticipating, preparing and readying myself for whatever it may be. And then, when they are finished or completed, I love checking them off or crossing them out. Although I do love room for creative spontaneity, too much free time makes me antsy and can often leave me feeling rather unproductive. Somehow, you see, what I do adds to my value, gives me my worth.

When approaching the new year, I began actively praying and listening for "the word" the Lord wanted to give me for 2017. Annually, He gives me a word that He then reveals throughout the course of the year. It is as if I have been given a gift for the year, of which I get a sneak peak at the beginning, and the rest of the year is the unraveling of the mystery. Last year it was "Seek My Face" which I discovered to mean relentlessly pursuing the character and attributes of God, knowing Him and His heart above all else. On New Year's Eve day, I received the word for 2017: "Establish the work of our hands." Naturally, I began a hot pursuit of what it meant.

Although I am only at the beginning of discovery, I am thinking that "to establish the work of our hands" has far less to do with what I DO, and far more with what HE DOES through me. As my wise mama coined it, we as humans really do have a "HE" problem: a "Human Effort" issue. We live our lives independent of Him and live by our own efforts, believing that it somehow is about our own accomplishments. To live in need of Him, living life out of the abundance of the Spirit means that He will establish whatever we do for His Kingdom purposes. And I guess, this season for me, more than ever, is one in which I have to rely on this truth. Each day, I have to wake up and say "Jesus, establish the work of my hands for Your kingdom." May you too, each and everyday.

Jesus has gifted me with this woman. She is hurting yet healing, breaking yet being filled. I have the privilege of weekly spending time with her, sharing life, our hearts and heartaches together.

THANKSGIVING

  • A trusting, supportive relationship has formed between the mama of the young man, Caheem, who was shot and killed in November and myself. It has been very strained, yet the Lord has used the loss of Caheem as a catalyst to healing
  • There is beginning actions of starting a one day a week afterschool program as well as a drop in program for youth with Inner City Outreach (ICO-the partner organization in the community) and Christian Center Church (CCC). Thankful to see how eager they are to start something, recognizing the need with UrbanPromise Toronto passing the baton.
  • Mentorship/discipleship is a HOT topic and desire in the CCC community AND especially in the Young Adults. I had the privilege of doing a few workshops at the retreat, speaking about the truths of discipleship! Thankful for how receptive and open everyone is, and how desirous they are to act on truly being disciples that make disciples.
  • Opportunities to actively mentor and disciple girls who are all very hungry to know the Gospel, to know Christ through His Word. Additionally, they are the key young women who are the "young people living in Toronto Community Housing who love Jesus and are actively serving their community"! They are certainly the vision of UrbanPromise Toronto in the flesh! Such a joy to be a part of their story and they in mine!
Hanging out with two of the women I get to disciple regularly. Both these women are on quite a journey!

COMMUNITY

  • Clear communication and strong unity is needed for the process of "passing the baton" and transition. As I am still very available to the community, I want to be used as best as I can be in the time I have. Please pray that there will clarity between UPT and CCC/ICO, that we will all work together for the sake of the community, for the sake of the Kingdom.
  • Healing and security after the death of Caheem. Angry Boy, his little brother, is deeply wounded and struggling. His anger is dictating life, making it almost impossible for him to stay in school without having outbursts or fighting. He is wearing the "wounded" badge on him. He is 7. Please pray for godly counselling, solid male mentors and wisdom in loving him through this. Pray he is not another statistic!
  • Strong and willing leaders are needed IMMEDIATELY as ICO desires to launch a pilot one day a week Afterschool Program on February 14th! Please pray that there will be great interest, desire and ACTION! That the right leaders will be there, ones who are passionate about investing in children and creating a space where they are free to be who they have been created to be!
Young adults retreat! What a joy to do share together, speaking truth, laughing often and challenging each other to live for Christ completely, inviting others to join us on the adventure! (Many of the young adults were Streetleaders who have grown up through our program! Such a joy to witness their growth!)

PERSONAL

  • To be surrendered to His way, His timing-letting HIM "establish the work of our hands". I don't want it to be about me, about my accomplishments and my lists, but about what HE wants me to do everyday! I want to be intentional all the while letting Him lead each day. I just want my community to know Christ, and I want to be open to whatever He desires for me!
  • I am preparing to leave this community. It breaks my heart about this. I am actively working for UrbanPromise Toronto until May and then taking time off to fully transition to the next thing God calls me to. Please continue praying for this transition.
  • I have an interview at Redeemer University in their Education Department in February. Please pray that I will simply trust the Lord in this process, knowing that all is in His hands and not in the hands of man.
  • I have had rats, lice and a rash (as well as other health issues), and am still in the process of working through my sleep struggles. Please pray that I will learn and grow through each of these things! I am confident He is in each of these things, I just want to trust Him and watch for Him!
Keep praying these leaders rise up and restore this community! Pray Jesus transforms their hearts, conforming them to His image for the sake of others coming to know Him as well! The kids of this community are truly in good hands!

Thank you for your faithful friendships, prayers and support. If anyone is interested in knowing more about what I do, what I am doing and how you can be a part of it, please message me at ruthann@urbanpromise.com. My ability (and our privilege as an organizaiton) to remain in the communities is based on the incredible and loving support of others. If you want to know, let's get together for coffee, Skype date or phone chat! Would love to catch up and share together! Truly.

Love, Ruthann

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