Monday, June 11, 2007

Blogging General Assembly, day one: A mighty Protector is He

I made arrangements to attend the Presbyterian Church in America's (PCA's) General Assembly this week. For you non-PCA folk, General Assembly is the annual meeting of the denomination for the business of the church as a denomination. And in the PCA, every church in the denomination may send delegates-- both Ruling Elders and Teaching Elders (Pastors)-- so there are a lot of PCA people here; over 1200 delegates, to be more specific. So it is a good time for networking and finding new leads for placement.

The General Assembly (aka "GA") is at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN, which is downtown. I rode down to GA with my Pastor, and don't have a vehicle here.  I'm staying in the dorms at the University of Memphis, which is in the suburbs. Therefore, I'm riding the city bus to and from the Convention Center.

When we got to town (around 8pm), I asked my Pastor to drop me off at the Convention Center, since I knew there was a bus route that went right by the Convention Center and straight to the University of Memphis. It took little time to find a bus stop, but after waiting for about 15 minutes without seeing a bus, I decided to walk a bit down the way I would be going. There were bus stops about every block, so I figured I would catch one when it came.

When I was about 8 blocks from the Convention Center, I passed a mission and stopped at another bus stop for a while. Again I waited about 10 minutes, then moved on. I hadn't walked 50 yards when an apparently homeless guy started walking toward me, calling out. "Hey big man! Hey-- I need to talk to you."

"You don't need to talk to me," I told him, and kept walking. But he said, "Yeah I do-- I'm just trying to help you out. Stop and let me tell you something."

I Stopped, and he said, "You don't want to keep walking that way. If you go another block that way, the vice-lords will beat you up and take everything you have."

At this, some of the other men sitting around (also apparently homeless) said, "He's telling you the truth, man."

We talked for a while, and he told me that he tried to regularly catch guys who got impatient with the bus system-- after rush hour is over, they only come about once an hour-- and keep them from walking into trouble. He walked back to the bus stop with me, and we talked until I got on the bus 20 minutes later.

I'm so thankful for God sending this man to help me. He (God) clearly used this meek fellow to protect me from harm. It reminded me of a song I used to lead my youth group with, that sang, "Hallelujah, hallelujah! A mighty Protector is He!"

UPDATE: I wrote this on Monday, but due to erratic connections couldn't get it posted until today (Wednesday). Sorry about the delay!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Praise God! MAC