Yesterday we went to Compton. Yes, Compton, the next door neighbor of Watts (Watts Riots), stomping grounds of the Bloods and Crips, and the creative space for gangster rap and artists like Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E. Despite its tarnished reputation, it’s easy to acknowledge that Compton somehow holds the ability to influence the nation. Haven’t we all heard that guy driving down the street with his windows down and playing his rap music frustratingly loudly? What if it was possible that Compton was created to actually spark a national movement? Furthermore, is it possible that the enemy realized this and distorted this God-ordained calling by instigating violence and immorality? Now, could God possibly redeem the ground of Compton to kick start a movement of love? Time will tell.
Yesterday was one of the best collaborative outreaches of which I have been a part. Five churches were united to help host the event; 21 vendors appeared to offer assistance in jobs, healthcare, and training programs; and the city of Compton was fully supportive of the event from the mayor’s office down to the city recreation center. From noon to six, we had several hundred people pass through, enjoying free hot dogs, gospel music (a local favorite), sports activities, and bouncy houses.
As the crowd was eating, our boy Sammy Rodriguez took hold of the microphone. He shared for about twenty minutes on how Jesus sees us exactly as we are and loves us in the midst of our circumstances. In the end, he invited the people to give their lives to Jesus and hands shot up all over the park! Following the message, we invited people to come to the stage who were in need of physical healing. A few people stepped forward including a guy named Alex. I asked Alex what pain he was experiencing and he said that his back was really tight and in pain. I placed my hand on his back and prayed for him. I asked him if he felt any change and he said he did. What kind of a change, are you 50% better, 25% better, or what? He said he felt 100% better! Praise God for his miracles!
Following all of this, several members of Compton churches were asked to share their testimonies. As you might expect, some of the testimonies were wild! People went off praising Jesus and giving him glory for the way he saved their lives from drugs, promiscuity, and whatever other sins to which they were enslaved. It was refreshing to see people boldly declaring their testimonies of how Jesus has saved their lives!
The event was called Love Compton and it went so well that the park manager said we needed to make this at very least an annual event. We also received an invite from the neighboring city of Watts to run a park outreach there. Even one of the managers running the Los Angeles International airport booth was so pleased that she asked if we could collaborate with them in the future to plan events.
All in all, Jesus is opening doors that we could never open and providing opportunities simply because he loves us and his desire is to save. His creativity in arranging opportunities for us is unparalleled and his wisdom is beyond what we could fathom. Continuing on this journey he has is so much fun and I hope you’re encouraged today by reading that Compton, of all places, is also falling on its knees in worship of our wonderful savior, Jesus Christ!