Last year I decided at the last minute to attend the leadership advance after some friends of mine were encouraging me to attend. I was hesitant as I didn't see myself as a leader in the church, and was just trying to find a team that I felt called to serve on. Looking back in hindsight God gave me a calling through a vision in May 2016 that I ignored in my lack of confidence. One morning while I was getting ready for work I was halted and God imparted me with a vision for outreach. God spoke to me saying that I was to facilitate a haircuts for the homeless event through my job and with the help of the church. But I was disobedient and didn't think that I could do this all on my own, and lies started surrounding me saying that I didn't have the resources or time to plan this. I fell into a dark place of confusion and feeling lost as to what my purpose is, and what is God's vision for my life. I felt that attending the Leadership Advance 2017 would help give me some clarity as to what I'm supposed to do with my life and God's plan for my life.
After Carl Lentz led us into our last round of worship I felt such a heavy conviction filled with tears and intense clarity. I came to realization on what God had planned for me, it was something he already revealed to me but in my disobedience ignored his word. I knew that I had to join the outreach team and facilitate this event.
Over the last year my life has changed so dramatically. I felt as if a veil of confusion was lifted from my eyes and God gave me the confidence and boldness to step into my calling. I started volunteering with outreach monthly and started planning my haircutting event for May of last year. God opened so many doors through my obedience. We had over 20 volunteers from outreach come, $500 of product donated, 3 barbers from Floyd's and 2 stylists from the church give their time! In total we gave 80 men at Breakthrough ministries haircuts, some of which hadn't had their hair cut in over 8 months. God can use anyone for even the smallest task like a haircut to turn someone's life, confidence, and state of being around.
I found myself becoming preoccupied with outreach and that I started to take if from the streets of Chicago and into my workplace more and more. I began to talk to my company's owner about outreach and philanthropy and asked why aren't we involved in this area? I later realized that God was using me as an intercessor at the workplace for this. I kept coming up with ideas and suggesting opportunities on how we can become involved in philanthropy again after a 6-year hiatus. God made me so persistent in this, I kept praying for months for a miracle to happen at my workplace, and it did. This past December our owner announced that we will be bringing this branch of our company back! My job is a website for hairdressers, we receive over 8 million site visits a year. We have the power to impact the beauty industry quite largely with outreach opportunities so this nothing short of a work of God that this was sought through.
I feel that none of this would of ever happened if the I wouldn't of attending the advance last year. It set things in motion that I cannot explain. It completely changed my life for the better.