Retelling the story

In these last several weeks, I’m realizing more and more about how Christ turns our stories upside down.

Through its ministry, Emmaus gets to see these men slowly learn to retell their own stories. This is part of why God has led me to Emmaus, to realize that he tells the story of Emmaus men differently than they’ve been learning to tell it their whole lives.

For many of the men, abuse and neglect were daily realities of their early years. Many of them have been living a story about themselves that is anything but the story that God has for them. In the world’s eyes, they are the lowest of the low. Yet in the Lord’s eyes, they have always been his precious sons, whom he wants dearly to welcome with open arms.

These last few weeks have been a difficult time to begin my stint with Emmaus Ministries, but that has allowed me to see this retelling in action. During my first Friday at the Ministry Center, we learned that “Mark” had been found dead on the shores of Lake Michigan. Then and now, we have been in shock and sorrow over the loss of this “member of our Emmaus family,” as Sill called him.

Through our grief for Mark, I saw that God has used Emmaus to retell his story. For many people, labels like “male prostitute” could encompass Mark’s identity and relegate him to the bottom of society. For us at Emmaus, Mark is a beloved son.

God welcomes each of us into his loving presence, and Emmaus has carried a small part of his welcoming love to the streets of Chicago, both through Outreach and by inviting Mark and men like him into our doors. Our presence on these streets carries just a glimpse of his faithfulness towards each of us and his promise never to leave nor forsake us. In small ways, imitating Christ’s love for us, we answer his call by reaching out to these men.

Part of loving is mourning. Mark’s death has been hard here because Mark had a home here. In a large way, he loved as he himself was loved, and made an impact on so many of the men. He is missed and not forgotten, as a beloved son should always be. That is his story now.

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Our Mission

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

 

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Offices & Ministry Center:
Emmaus Ministries
4201 N Troy St
Chicago IL 60618

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Emmaus Ministries
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PO Box 431
Wheaton IL 60187-0431

773-334-6063
emmaus@streets.org

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