God Prepares the Way
at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Quartz Hill, Ca
Rev. Brian Barlow, a recent graduate from the Cross-Cultural Ministry Center (CMC) at Concordia-Irvine, now serving as pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church, Quartz Hill, CA, after a long vacancy, recently experienced God @ Work as He prepared the way for unexpected, amazing ministry opportunities.
In Rev. Barlow’s and his family’s second week of ministry, he reports,
“We came face to face with a new ministry opportunity and it was nothing like anything I could have thought or imagined it would be.”
Spending time with his three young boys in a city park adjacent to the church, Rev. Barlow noticed a young homeless man carrying worn-out sneakers. He lived in the park and faced multiple challenges including ADHD, autism, mental illness and addiction. In their first interactions, he shared that one of his best male friends goes by the pronoun ‘she.’ Rev. Barlow took a deep breath and thought,
“Lord, is this where ministry begins? A homeless minor with gender-confused peers?”
It was evident the Holy Spirit had been at work preparing the young man's heart and mind. After just two interactions (and being presented with some new shoes) he responded with a newfound hope, evidence of faith that led him to ask,
“Can I be baptized?”
In worship at Resurrection the next Sunday he announced his upcoming baptism. "You should have heard the cheers,” Rev. Barlow exclaimed. “Even more moving, our 2-year-old son, without prompting, walked up the aisle and grabbed his legs giving him the greatest of hugs. Yes, there were tears!"
Resurrection jumped in with both feet preparing for the Baptism. Then, the story took a detour when the young man was taken to the hospital. Again, God was at work as this situation connecting the church with his mother and brothers, a relationship that continues to grow! His mom made a point to tell them,
"Thank you, this is the first time I have had hope in a very long time.”
Since October 8, 2019 her son had passed through 13 different facilities, hospitals and agencies with no lasting help.
"The young man calls me every day,” says Rev. Barlow. “He is in a safe and sober place and continues to ask if he can still be baptized. I am working with several faith-based residential programs to help provide a safe place for him to return to.” And the members of Resurrection told their new pastor in their own words, "You are doing what we have always said we should do but didn't." God @ Work in and through the PSD indeed!
Helping the Homeless
Use the link below to find resources for caring for the homeless.
Join us in Prayer
Join us in praying for God's continued work in Rev. Barlow, the congregation at Resurrection, and the young man and his family!