Nov 14, 2010

Rahab Ministries

My hubby and I will soon be doing a new ministry at our church. It will involve communicating to members about the various local outreach efforts that our church supports so that more folks can become educated as to the needs and hopefully will want to participate in these outreaches. As part of our own educational process, we have set out to get to know some of these ministries first hand ourselves.

Last Friday night, we attended a benefit concert for a street outreach in Akron, Ohio called Rahab Ministries. The fascinating story of Rahab in the Bible can be found in the book of Joshua, Chapter 2. Though Rahab was a prostitute, she had heard of the mighty acts of the God of Israel, and in spite of her personal past, she reached out in faith and believed He could save her and her family. She later married an Israelite, and actually became a physical ancestor in the lineage of Jesus Christ. How amazing is that?

RAHAB also has become an acronym for this ministry: Reaching Above Hopelessness and Brokenness. Hundreds of women in this city are hopelessly lost prostitutes, drug addicted, involved in criminal behavior, and roaming the streets without a meaningful purpose to their lives. Rahab Ministries literally goes to where these women are and snatches many of them from the grip of the evil that holds them captive by offering them food, clothing, safe shelter and a Christ-centered message of hope and healing.

Several women told snippets of their story at this event. They are all "in process", working through the steps they need to take to turn their lives around. For some, this means regaining custody of their children. For others, it means continuing with their education. For all of them, it means committing their lives to the One who gave His life for them. It is not an easy road, and there are slips and setbacks along the way. Rahab Ministries is there for them, waiting with open arms when they, like the prodigal son, return to their senses if in their weakness they wander away and relapse. As each woman came up to speak, their "before" photo was shown on a big screen ...their mugshot. All the women who talked had been arrested at some point. Beside their photo were words they used to describe how they felt about themselves before Rahab Ministries introduced them to the Gospel~~words like lost, forgotten, alone, hopeless, destroyed, addict, empty, numb.

One woman who spoke had been drug-addicted for 23 long years. She was miraculously delivered from that life three years ago through the efforts of Rahab Ministries and the amazing grace of God. Today she attends The University of Akron and has a vision to open a recovery house for women with the help of Rahab Ministries. Her new life verse is Philippians 1:6: "...He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Another woman who once saw herself as a soldier in Satan's army, said that someone came by and gave her a hug, and today she is a new creation. She says her new name is Victor, and she is moving forward in confidence and peace.

Each woman had their own story to tell, their own personal experience as they have left their old life behind and encountered the Living God who loves them more than they could ever have imagined.

All of this because two women in our area had a vision for reaching out with compassion. Like Jesus, Rahab Ministries refuses to let go. They believe in modern day miracles because they witness them every day. As we like to say here in Akron, this is where the rubber meets the road.

Once again, I have been humbled and amazed. God is opening my eyes and my heart wider all the time. Though I have been a Christian for over 50 years, sometimes I feel like I'm only just beginning to know Jesus. What about you?

Matthew 25: 31-46

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Jacquelyn,
I love to hear of these transformation stories! It just so blesses your heart and makes you want to jump for Joy! What a miracle working savior we have!!
Thanks for sharing them.
Love and Blessings,
Also thanks for coming by and for your sweet comments hon, always good to hear from you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A good work of grace, both for Rahab ministries and for all of us Rahabs in the world who need the deliverance and love of Father God. I am one of them, and I am grateful.