This weekend was pretty eventful, from my sister's birthday, hanging out with a bunch of old friends, staying at the beach until 3am, dance party and dodge ball at the red door, meeting new friends to the show and some not so good news last night- I'd say it was a packed weekend.
Friday night was my sister's birthday; we went to dinner and after headed back to our house for some cake with friends. Some of our friends from Texas were in town whom we haven't seen in a while came and hung out as well. It was nice to see them and catch up. They wanted to see the venue, so we took them and gave them "the tour". Afterwards we all went out to the beach and hung out till 3 am! The guys were shooting bottle rockets at each other and we were trying our best to dodge them, it was crazy. Fun times.
Saturday we had a free event at the Red Door. It was a dance party, dodge ball, and wrestling. We had a DJ, strobe lights and everything and not one person danced! They just stood there and looked around, awkward! I was surprised because the last time we did a dance party it was crazy...haha. However dodge ball ruled the night, they didn't even bother to wrestle. They played dodge ball for hours! It was fun. Interestingly 3 guys and 1 girl came in the middle of a game kind of checking to see what it was we were doing. They came and jumped right in the game. Turns out, they are from Ecuador! I was so excited when I found out so I went up and began speaking in spanish to them and their faces just lit up as they embraced me, kissed my cheeks and began introducing themselves as Martha, Adreis, Santiago and Alberto , it was so sweet! Apparently they are here on a working visa in some program. They live within walking distance of the Red Door and they said they heard music and so they wanted to come and see what it was. They actually though it was a bar and they said they were a little hesitant to come in, haha. We are like the furthest thing from a bar. They stayed for hours and we talked as I practiced to improve my Spanish and they practiced to improve their English. They were so very sweet and I very much enjoyed getting to know them. They have no vehicle and their only means of transportation is a bicycle in which only one owns and they have no telephone or way of communicating with their families. I can't imagine. They were telling Meagan and I how much they wanted to see more of Pensacola (besides the somewhat ghetto neighborhood they live in) and how they so wanted to see the mall. The youngest one of the group, Santiago is one of the most lovable and cheerful people I have ever met! We gave them free pizza and he kept telling my mom and I how much he loved us and how we were the nicest people he has ever met in Pensacola. They also stated that they would be at the Red Door every day waiting for us because it was the best place they had ever been...haha. It was so cute. Meagan and I picked them up on Sunday and took them to the mall, you would've thought we like gave them a million dollars. They were so grateful. It was a lot of fun. I really feel like it was a God thing that they happened to stumble across our venue right around the same time I leave for Mexico. They claim to be Christians, but I think that some of them come from a Catholic background. I was able to share my faith in JesuCristo in my broken Spanish to them and explained that it was not about religion but all about a relationship with Him. They listened intently. They also came last night after the show to play dodge ball. They brought more friends, another 19 year old girl named Isabel from Ecuador who is an absolute gem and some guys from Turkey. They had a blast playing dodge ball and they did not want to leave. They are going to come to prayer tonight and they invited Meagan, my mom and I to a special dinner that they want to prepare especially for us for the kindness we've shown them. I love their positive attitudes and contagious joy. It was a blessing to bless them.
On another much more downcast note, a 19 year old who has come to the red door and is pretty well known among some of the kids who come passed away last night from a drug overdose. Some of his friends were out in the parking lot and were pretty hysterical. It was really sad. I hope that this is a wake up call to some of them. A lot of them are heavily into drugs and alcohol as well and my mom just started crying and saying "It could've been you; it could've been any of you". It's kind of strange because this has been a VERY tough month for us, spiritually, emotionally, financially and mentally. It's almost like we're under an attack and all hell is breaking loose against us. Some parents came in last night and gave my mom a $250 check and said that they felt like God told them to do so and that God has put us on their hearts, couldn't have been more timely!
My mom stated to me just last week that she had a feeling in her gut that something really, really bad was about to happen, but she could not put her finger on it. When we found out about that kid last night, she broke. She said to me, "Amber, we've got to do something, we've got to do something" so we prayed. Prayer is really all we can do besides loving them and telling them the truth. For the most part, they know the truth. They know that their lives are a wreck. They just keep coming; they accept our love but reject our message. They accept our rules but reject our reasons. They accept our words but reject our beliefs. Why do they keep coming? Because I believe that God is dealing with their hearts and is allowing us to show them who He really is despite the image that they have of Him.
I know that tonight we are going to have prayer for the Red Door as well as Corey Weatherholt's family and friends who have been affected by the tragedy of his sudden death. Prayer changes things, it really does. God must have something amazing ahead, the greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward; the greater the battle, the greater the victory.
Pray for us if you think about it, we need all we can get right now.
I leave for Mexico in exactly 4 days! I'm getting more excited as it nearly approaches! I found the website for the place we are going to be staying and ministering at http://www.missiontoreach.org/ I am looking forward to it so very much!