Last week 9 of us traveled from Columbia, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma to serve, learn and see what God is doing! The students were connected with Broadway Christian Church, First Christian Church and Olivet Christian Churches' joint city wide ministry called Disciples on Campus.
These passionate young adults served and learned about various social services, ministries and organizations that work through the Tulsa area including Iron Gate Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry, Emergency Infant Services, the Day Center of Tulsa, The John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, the Greenwood Cultural Center, Oklahomans for Equality, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and First Christian Church of Tulsa. Our group served and learned from these amazing organizations as they meet needs that they see around them and throughout their city. Each responds in a different way and they work together to try to complement the services provided to disenfranchised people throughout Tulsa. We thank our gracious hosts at Harvard Avenue Christian Church, particularly their community pastor Rev. Kevin Howe and their Lead Pastor Rev. Mark Briley, for their gracious hospitality and connection to these wonderful organizations.
Throughout our time in Tulsa we were graciously welcomed and thanked as we wrapped diapers, sorted clothes, built love-in kits for newly housed individuals, served food, handed out food, learned about snack packs, heard about horrific tragic events of the past and yet saw through all of this the spirit of God's deep and abiding love for this place and the variety of people within it.
Eastern Oklahoma was a blessing to those of us from Mid-America. Friday night as our group was closing with Prayer Stations created by one of the students, they wrote about where they saw God here in Tulsa. And they summed it up best with some saying "people helping other people, even if they have little to give themselves" and "seeing a church that defines itself as an outreach focused church, serving the needs of their people" and "seeing people in need and giving them unconditional love & respect...not dehumanizing them...working with them in the way God wanted...building relationships...while growing closer to God and finding myself."
In ranging from dealing with serving food to learning about the Tulsa Race Massacre to walking the streets of the Arts district we headed home changed by the way God is speaking throughout Tulsa.
Story and photo courtesy of Rev. Nick Larson,
Associate Minister at Broadway CC.