Welcome to MCC Haiti.

CLS Conference

For me, a lot of the excitement about Ted’s legal ministry (see CLCP) began when we attended the Christian Legal Society’s annual conference in Chicago in October. Ted’s work was gracious enough to fund my ticket to travel to the conference alongside Ted. Both of us, along with Ted’s boss and his wife (Pete and Wendy), attended the all-day seminar on Christian Legal Aid. It was an excellent day. The discussion leader, Bruce Strom, taught us so much from his experience starting Administer Justice, a full-time legal aid ministry in Eglin, Illinois. Bruce stepped out in faith, leaving his private law practice to begin pro bono legal services to low-income neighbors.  What a cool testimony!   He gave us resources from his practice, and his co-workers offered so much advice to the group of sixty-plus Christian attorneys who want to extend themselves to follow the Christian calling to care for the poor, seek justice, and with compassion to reach out to those in need.  Even though Wendy and I were maybe the only non-attorneys in the room, I was so jazzed thinking about the possibilities of legal ministry! It was a fruitful couple of days for Pete, and Ted, of making contacts and brainstorming and praying for their ministry – there is such a broad horizon ahead, and it seems like the possibilities are endless…

The four of us reflected in"The Bean"
A real highlight of our 5-day trip was meeting a Chicago pastor, who graciously allowed Ted and I to sleep on his church’s floor in the city. Through some contacts at our church in Philly, this Chicago pastor found out that we were coming and in need of any type of accommodations. He hosted us for three nights – we opted to stay on his floor even though our friends had some extra space in their hotel room!   Something about Pastor Juan’s testimony, his demeanor, and his faith, changed us.  His blunt, honest words during a Chicago neighborhood tour “blew our minds and touched our hearts” – as I wrote in my journal a few days later. Himself being a previous heroin addict, he now ministers to recovering addicts in a part of the city that used to be the “badlands,” but is now slowly gentrifying.  This is close to where our Philly pastor began his ministry, and Pastor Juan was one of his earliest congregation members and a co-laborer in reaching out to their community with the gospel. One thing Pastor Juan kept emphasizing is how, as humans, we have a hard time “letting God be God.” We perpetually want to take control and give Jesus “tips” on how to run things. But, as Pastor Juan would say, “God is pretty good at being God. He doesn’t really need our help to run things.” Ha. I definitely feel the need at times to make sure God has everything under control. There was so much more that struck us. We were all four grateful for the few moments we had in his presence that weekend.

South Philly vision