written by Melany Jackson, Project Coordinator for C-U at Home
Sometimes God calls us to do pretty crazy things for Him—things that look to other people, even other believers, like foolishness. Little did I know that reading a book called Radical and going out in a truck to help the homeless during the same week in December, 2010, would completely change the direction of my ministry and my life. . .
My name is Melany Jackson. I was born and raised in Southern IL, the daughter of a deacon and the church secretary. Up until the age of 27, I was convinced that I had punched my ticket to heaven with a prayer and confession as a child. Then God set me straight. Jesus became the Lord of my life in 1996. I spent almost 8 years serving Him through Christian radio and another 5 years as an intentional interim minister of worship and evangelism in several churches.
In the summer of 2009, a year after earning my M-Div, the Lord got my attention while on my motorcycle in full gear a couple of days after doing evangelism at Sturgis. We were on a Native American reservation in South Dakota. I was in the midst of the most desperate poverty I had ever witnessed first-hand. The Lord broke my heart. I wept uncontrollably. All I could figure out from the experience was that He was calling me to a new area of service, some type of compassion ministry, helping those who are most in need.
Not knowing what that would look like and with my interim job ending in October, I moved, by default, back to C-U, my adult home to live with friends and wait on the Lord. I spent a year serving those in need at Salt & Light. And then, in the first week of December 2010, I read a book by David Platt called Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream and I went out on the Canteen Run for the first time. The Canteen Run is the Salvation Army disaster relief truck going out 3 times a week to take sack lunches, socks, underwear, hygiene products, and the love of Christ to people on the streets. During 2011, I ended up teaching a bible study based on Radical three different times.
Thanks for joining me again next week when I will share how God turned my life upside down to serve Him on a faith-filled journey to help the most vulnerable homeless right here in our own community. God might just be ready to lead you on a radical turn in life when you least expect it. . .