Throughout our stay in Las Vegas we worked with Adventures in Mission and hung out with a youth from Fremont, CA. We did our best to lead them through the streets of the city. We watched time and time again as each and every one of these youth stepped outside of their own, individual comfort zones and allowed God to use them...speaking light into the surrounding darkness. We all worked alongside a ministry called Casa de Luz. This ministry planted itself in the midst of a broken area in Las Vegas called the Naked City. The Naked City is named after its notorious past...home of Las Vegas' showgirls. It holds a reputation for drugs, prostitution, and gang fights. Through the ministries insistent desire to see God fall, Naked City is changing rapidly. People are falling in love with the man of Jesus Christ. They are exchanging their rags in for God's glory. We were told story after story of the triumphs. The youth from Fremont were an intricate part of some of the outreach. They walked up to doors every evening praying for people and pointing them in the direction of hope. When they were not helping out Casa de Luz they were pouring into the homeless people throughout Las Vegas with the help of the Salvation Army. In the same way, they stepped out in all boldness and loved the people on the streets in a way that is inexpressible. They not only shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with them, they shared their very lives. They treated the homeless and consequently overlooked and forgotten individuals of Las Vegas as people with hearts and feelings. They sat down on the curbs with their friends and cried and laughed with them. They do it all because Jesus was first willing to sit down on our level and cry and laugh with us.
People like the youth from Fremont, Chris from Casa de Luz, and Captain Jamenson at Salvation Army reminded us that the the work of God is not complete in this city. We were reminded that nothing is too hard for God. He will never, ever, ever leave or forsake the brokenness of Las Vegas. He is using these people to shine light throughout communities...and it is, and will continue to spread like wildfire.
We met a man named Jackie Robinson. People call him the Poetry Man. He was a homeless man that is being used everyday by God.
His story in short: He has struggled his entire life with retaining information. He is not good and remembering things. He went to jail for a little while. While he was sitting in his cell he says God told him to write something down....so he wrote it on his cell wall. It was his first ever poem. A poem about God himself. He realized his love for God and need for God. Soon he realized that God had immediately given him the gift of memorizing his poetry. He now has over a hundred poems....all of them are being retained in his memory. He shared one of them with us.
Did you see that homeless man as you passed him on the street?
Or were you too busy to notice that he ain’t have no shoes upon his feet?
And you probably didn’t notice the coat that he had hanging down to the ground.
Was it a gift from long ago or was it something he had lost that he found?
And you probably didn’t notice the scars that he had on his hands and face
from cruel and uncaring people that can never be erased.
As you kept on walking thinking only of yourself...
...a very brief though of homelessness
but maybe thats a man that we probably should’ve helped.
And as you kept on walking pass that church knowing that it was Jesus Christ that you were going to meet,
did you remember too that he didn’t have no shoes upon his feet?
He also wore the crown of thorns as he was nailed to the cross of calvary
Did you hear his hunger as he cried out in pain?
It was eternal life for you and I.
Now thats something that we must gain.