We have been burned with Jesus' call to love the least of these and to "go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame" to invite them to God's banquet (Luke 14:21).
In the beginning of our ministry, we easily became swept up in trying to meet everyone’s basic needs and changing their circumstances. But the more resources we threw at problems, the gap between those we were trying to help and Jesus seemed to grow wider and wider. The more their needs were met, the less they saw a need for Jesus in their lives.
We also saw constant "mountain top moments" that quickly came crumbling down, causing questioning and confusion as boys stumbled back into their old circumstances and struggles.
God kept pointing us time and time again back to Him. That He was the ONLY hope in these boys’ and young men's lives. Without Him causing the stirring in them, without Him giving them the wisdom and push to change, without Him opening their hearts and eyes to love right in front of them, there was and is no hope.
Now that God has refocused us completely on Him, we preach the gospel as often as we can. From Tuesday-Friday we provide a Drop-In Center for the boys and young men in Bulawayo that find themselves living on the streets. The Drop-In Center provides a safe place for them to build relationships with us, as well as a place to wash and have some fun through soccer and pool. We also offer Bible studies and discipleship for anyone who wants to go deeper than surface level and genuinely wants help.
Every boy is so different from the other, with each one needing such specific things to help them see God in tangible ways in their lives, that we don't have a formula for everyone. We allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit with each individual person. We certainly don't have the answers for all the hurt and all the trauma these individuals have endured, so only Jesus can guide us for how to best love each boy that we come across.
Since 2018, we have also had a church service dedicated specifically for the young men and boys that we minister to. We found that as they left a regular church service, they would make excuses such as "The pastor doesn't understand where I'm coming from" or "That doesn't apply to me because he doesn't know how bad I've had it." So we started a church service just for them, to speak directly to their circumstances and to their hurt, so that they see the gospel is for EVERYONE and Jesus doesn't leave room for excuses. We have seen the most spiritual growth since the start of their own service. They interact with the speaker, and break into small groups afterwards to discuss how the message applies to their current situation.
From all these different areas we've seen baptisms and God moving them to change their own circumstances. It’s been very encouraging to see God do the real work, while we stay faithful to preaching His word, loving unconditionally, and interceding for these boys.
Baptism at the Baptist Pastors Pool
First Church Service
Where is This Going?
Currently, we are only in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and occasionally travel around the country to reconnect with boys that have gone home or to check in on boys that have moved to the streets in other cities.
Our greater vision for the ministry is to reach the least of these all around the world by God building up evangelists and disciple-makers in this current group of boys that we are working with in Zimbabwe.
We believe there are no better individuals to go to the streets and alleys of the world than young men who are already used to living in the roughest environments and who have been freed from the tightest of chains.
We have already seen God grow some of our boys into young men who are passionate about serving Him, so we know God will grow this ministry in His perfect plan.