One of the ways our young adults group has been able to impact our city is through the Annual Omaha Midnight Run. God is challenging us is to help the poor while creating a sense of unity within our young adult ministries here in Omaha.
To be honest, the Run was birthed out of need and not great planning or forethought. A few years ago, a crazy thing happened in our ministry that changed our focus and hearts in the way we see and respond to need. It has also changed our expectations in how God supplies.
One July, we had a missionary from Thailand come and speak to Underground, our young adult ministry. Her heart for the orphans of that nation impacted us tremendously. She had been routinely shot at by opposing armies and literally has put her life on the line to save the lives of these kids who didn't have a chance without her. To say we were moved and challenged would be an understatement. A "love offering" didn't seem to be enough for such a great demand.
The next morning, she shared with our adult service and as she was sharing, God said, "Go ask her what she needs." After the service, she was standing with our Mission's Director and I asked her the question. Her response was "prayer and a couple of other things." I knew she wasn't fully answering the question so I asked again. Finally, she hesitantly stated, "A car." She prayed to God about needing a car because hers was about to fall apart, but she would not tell anyone about it unless they specifically probed. God was challenging us to act.
We love helping others but I have to be honest, when I found out that the price of her new car was $17,000, I was nervous. That is a lot of money and we only had 8 weeks in which to raise it.
We shared the need and the vision for raising the money with our group and there was silence in the room. Not exactly the response I was looking for after casting vision! But thankfully, our leadership team kept the vision in front of our young adults.
As the group started giving it became apparent that giving was not going to be enough. Someone then threw out an idea about running a race and promoting it on campuses and in fitness clubs in Omaha. So we decided to try it.
Members on the team started calling businesses and local stores to support the run financially or donate water and supplies. So much came together at the last minute. We were able to raise around $4,000 from the race and coupled with the personal giving of our people, we met our goal in 7 weeks. As a result, a missionary is changing lives in a new, reliable car. God is able!
The race, which was started out of desperation, has now become the vehicle in which we would like to make a difference in our city, while partnering with other young adult ministries. We have increased our goal to support a local ministry impacting the inner city.
I believe God is asking young adults to move our cities and to do whatever it takes to make it happen. I leave you with this one quote that has challenged me and I hope it will challenge you: "The significance of your life will be determined by the size of the cause you commit to and the price you are willing to pay." Now, find the need and move your city!