When we found out our outreach locations, there was no way I was going to Detroit. I mean I came from America in the first place, so why would I go back? But God had a plan and for me, His plan was Detroit.
Beginning DTS in January, many of us anticipated going on outreach to a third world country, where we would be preaching, evangelising and seeing radical healing. Though we have witnessed healing, have had amazing times of evangelism and even preached, God has been teaching us how to be servants.
We’ve learnt how to be selfless, making it about Him and not us.
Most of our ministry time with YWAM Metro Detroit has been spent cleaning up abandoned houses and boarding them up to reduce crime. As young adults from first world countries, our eyes have been radically opened. We have seen horrifying images, very real and raw, of what first world poverty looks like. And it is more heartbreaking than I ever anticipated.
Week by week, our team is learning what it truly means to be a servant rather than a consumer, and it is beautiful. Every week we add another “flipped house” to the books, but not for the statistic. For Detroit, and us as a team, each house is symbolic. These cleaned up houses mark one step closer to safety for the people growing up in Detroit. One step closer to showing the people in the community they are valued and they are loved; one step closer to them radically experiencing and knowing and believing God’s love for them.
We’ve been praying that the community would see what we are doing and join in, and this week, God answered that prayer.
We had people ranging from young kids to middle-aged folks helping us clean up their own neighbourhood. We didn’t preach at them, we simply walked in God’s light and left a trail of God’s goodness behind us. As they worked alongside us, many of them said, “this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”
As we walk up and down the street in Detroit, with our lawn mowers, weed whackers, rakes and shovels, people walk out of their house to see what we are up to. That is when God shines His light and we only pray that what these people His light in us.
The people in Detroit are in the midst of a revival; I can feel it, I can see it, and it’s God’s promise over this city. We have amazing conversations with people on the streets, we bless them with prayer and we just get to truly love them.
God has removed expectations and selfishness in our hearts, while teaching us to be servants, which has changed the way in which we do missions and will do missions for the rest of our lives.
God has taught us that servants are the best leaders, and that’s what He has called us to be.
by Brittany Strouse
Surf & Skate DTS Student