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Redirected from the Ground Up

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

MArch 26, 2018

We have the opportunity to minister to many individuals who have had difficult backgrounds in drugs and alcohol. Even though it is difficult, the results can be beautiful. One thing that has really impacted me so far in this last month looking back is the change in the nature of their confidence. The directional change is amazing. At one time, the emphasis rested on their abilities to manipulate, to make tacos or score the best car that they were looking at to rob. God changed that and changed the confidence to a confidence that is resting on him.

The complete change in identity, when seen right before your eyes leaves you astounded. Someone like me who has not gone through such a drastic change feels at times odd discipling an OG, but I have come to recognize that it is completely the work of the Lord. I tell you what, I wander what the thoughts of those around us are when they see a young white kid sitting with a Mexican man with crazy tattoos and the vida loca points tattooed on his hand and a tear drop near his eye reading the bible together. I think it’s crazy, but it is also one of the coolest things in the world: teaching an ex-gang member about the life of Jesus. To me I think it’s cool and it reminds me of the kind of people that Jesus hung out with as well. Honestly, the process is like someone who is learning how to live all over again and it’s beautiful.

Right now I am in the process of discipling five people. Three of them I disciple in the centers and the other two outside of the centers. I never could have imagined that I would be given an opportunity like this to put into action the command of Jesus to make disciples. And even though sometimes I feel incapable because I haven’t had a past nearly as rough as the majority of the people that I talk to, but remembering that God is the one who teaches gives me confidence again, not in what I do, but in His work.

The work of the Lord is beautiful down here. We continue knowing that He will continue the work in the lives of these individuals. God is good and softens the hardest of hearts and most importantly, give them a new identity in Christ.

God bless

Your brother in Christ,

Caleb Smith

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