Having just moved to Chicago a couple of months ago, I never expected one of my biggest lessons so far to be about Vegas. But it’s surprising sometimes how God works.

Outreach in Boystown has become a place where I expect God to work. One night in early September was no exception. I was walking the streets with Andrew, a fellow Kaio member. Each block we walked we would smell a combination of cigarettes, beer, and pot. One co-worker explained Boystown as an exploitation of sex every place you look. It’s not a place I would go for fun.

That’s why running into Victor surprised me that night. He had been coming to the Ministry Center frequently and seemed to be making progress, but that night we ran into him right in the middle of Boystown. He was in the center of temptations of sins that he had been trying to escape.

Our conversation was short. He apologized for being there. We encouraged him to go home. But before he left, he gave me a little treasure with his response to my last question.

“Hey Victor, why are you out here tonight?” I asked.

“It’s my Vegas. The people, the excitement, the buzz. This is where it’s at,” was his reply.

Suddenly, so much started to make sense. Boystown is Victor’s Vegas. It’s the place where all of his temptations are staring him in the face. He has access to them. He knows it’s wrong but still runs to his temptations.

But don’t we all have our Vegases? We all have places and things in which our temptations are easily accessible. In our weak moments, we run right up to the edge of our temptations because the closeness of temptation can be thrilling.

That night, the Holy Spirit used that little interaction to point out “Vegas moments” in my own life. When I walk those streets now, I’m often humbled and reminded of that conversation with Victor. The Holy Spirit did work in Boystown that night, but it was in me.

My “Vegas” may not be Boystown, but I could see similarities in how Victor and I react to our temptations to sin. The more I’m around our guys, the more I see how similar we really are. Our temptations may be different, but we are all broken people who can only be healed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

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