Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Easter Gift from Catalyst

"Catalyst" is a hip-hop ministry of Greater Miami Youth for Christ, and the ministry has been using our church facilities since the beginning of September. It consists of several parts: a break-dancing group, a DJ group; and a graffiti group. The "large group" gatherings are on Saturday night, beginning about 7PM, and last until 2:30 or 3:00 AM. Often when we come to church the next morning, Joel Stigale, who leads the ministry, and his volunteers are still there putting the place in order. It is by then, pristine, except for the graffiti wall.

The graffiti wall is the west, outer wall of our fellowship hall. It is quite a long stretch of concrete, about 20 feet high, interrupted by a series of standard windows. We gave Catalyst that wall, and we covered the windows with plywood. Each week "signers" from all over South Florida gather to do their art work, and it is quite spectacular.

This past Easter Sunday, the artists presented the church with a gift, and my friends the Spences took photos of it. It is a series of words that tell the Easter story. Those words are Christ, Cross, Death, Tomb, and Risen.

During our Easter Service, one of the break-dancers, spoke. He is a young man who fled his gang life in the Bronx to Miami about three years ago, and was invited to Catalyst. His legal name is Gabriel, but his street name is "Fatty-Free", because he is muy flaco. After several months coming to the Saturday night gatherings, he started listening to Joel's sermons, which he had sleepily ignored till then. And then, he said, the Lord simply drew him in. (Calvinism is obviously at work in Catalyst.)

Easter Sunday was a great moment of celebration in our church's history. We had counted it a victory to have two or three professions of faith a year before Catalyst (and, of course, it was). But Catalyst has several each week. Those also "belong" to us.

On Tuesday nights, Joel has a Bible study. We've given him the old Sunday School office, and he has outfitted it comfortably.

I would think that the Lord will keep our little church going just so we can continue to host Catalyst. Keep that in your prayers!


Macon said...

And then, he said, the Lord simply drew him in. (Calvinism is obviously at work in Catalyst.)


Stop it. Calvinism doesn't own this concept. :-)

Macon said...

And, I'm SO GLAD you posted on this & included pictures! I think what's going on there is so very cool and I'm glad for others to know about it.

Anonymous said...

It is so awesome to see the works that the Lord has done for this ministry and for the church. Keep it going!

TT said...

Thanks so much for the pics. It's good to know that there's a HOME for these young folks. Many thanks to your church!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving Catalyst a home for hundreds of kids each week! We appreciate you all and
I will definitely be praying for you and your church. You are a VITAL part of this community!

Many blessings,
April =)

sweetpea said...

i love the graffiti!!!