Outreach is boring.

outreach-is-boring-1I know, I know. Outreach at Emmaus is cool. You get to stay up really late, walking the devilish streets of Chicago, offering hope to men living in desperation. Yeah. OK.

It sounds so sexy when you say it like that, but the truth is that most of the time, Outreach is boring. The interesting bits are scattered among hours of waiting. Last Wednesday night I had the first significant conversation with one of our guys in over two months of Wednesdays. On several of those nights we didn’t talk with anyone.

On nights like those, I struggle to believe that we’re doing anything worthwhile. I know we are seen by various people, potentially opening doors to relationships down the road. I know we are two or more gathered together and when we pray, we bring God’s presence into a space where God is needed. And I know we can’t predict when a guy might be walking around the neighborhood, seeking a relationship with someone who doesn’t just want to use him.

outreach-is-boring-2But honestly, it’s late and I’m tired, feeling underutilized and, yes, bored. (Andi, my outreach partner and wife of 25 years, provides scintillating conversation, of course. But if she’s honest, she’ll tell you she’s bored too.)

Sometimes we are called by God to stand on a street corner and do nothing. I have told countless volunteers how important it is to be able to do this, but these last couple months I have been reminded that this might be the most difficult aspect of working with Emmaus: trusting God to make use of our time when we show up, but nothing seems to happen.

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To provide Christ-centered support to men seeking to escape survival prostitution and embrace a life of health and wholeness.

 

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Emmaus Ministries
4201 N Troy St
Chicago IL 60618

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Emmaus Ministries
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Wheaton IL 60187-0431

773-334-6063
emmaus@streets.org

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