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I've been Captivated

Everyone has a story about how God has been working to captivate their heart. This is my story.

Born to a 17 year old unwed mother, my life began like most of my peers in Baltimore City. Many of my formative years were spent in the O’Donnell Heights Housing Projects which are now being demolished by the City due to the infestation of drugs and violence. I remember as a child looking around and noticing brokenness everywhere. I was captivated by the power that darkness has over people.

At around 10 years old I recall having a conversation with God. It was relatively calm and I was walking down the alley bouncing a gray rubber ball. I remember looking up at the sky asking God “Is this all I can expect out of life? Is there more to look forward to?” I didn’t get a verbal answer but I believe I received something better; an assurance. I felt in that moment that this was not all I had to look forward to. Since that time I recall having a calm confidence that I would not fall victim to the streets but rather my life would be used in a great way by God. I was captivated by the voice of the Holy Spirit.

As a child I tucked this assurance away in my heart and it became the foundation for my lifelong sense of confidence and determination. I would go on to receive Christ as my Savior when I was 13 years old at 2nd & 4th Baptist Church in Baltimore. The church had an annex row home across the street. In the basement of that row home is where I was taught the scriptures faithfully for nearly 5 years. My mentor studied God's word with abandon. He'd come in with a dozen pages of handwritten or typed out notes complete with cross references every week. Although he was teaching a group of rough inner city kids he came prepared to teach at Harvard. Faithfully this man opened the bible every week without fail and taught us God’s word. We were challenged to study the text and come prepared for discussion. We were free to disagree or even argue so long as we could back it up. These were the moments that most grounded me in my faith in Christ. I was captivated by the Word.
I remained faithful to 2nd & 4th until I graduated High School and moved away from Baltimore City at 18 years old to attend college.

For the last 12 years I have lived a life that looks very different from the childhood images of the city etched into my memory. While I've remained connected to the city because of my family, I myself have changed. I'm no longer solely the product of the streets. I'm now a product of a second world. I have earned an undergraduate Pre-Law degree and attended Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Over the last dozen years my peer group has been mostly suburban, Caucasian and educated. In a sense my life has been comprised of two distinct pieces. For years I have prayed for wisdom concerning this diverse set of life experiences, education and relationships. During this last year I am absolutely certain that I have my answer. I am captivated by his plan.
God is moving in my life in a way like I have never known. As pieces of this eternal puzzle have been moved into place I can now see what he is creating. God is in the process of redeeming the city of Baltimore and He has invited me to join Him in this work. He is taking these seemingly two completely different aspects of my life and merging them to bring redemption to the City of Baltimore. He has invited me into His work of redemption in Baltimore and now it is my honor to invite you to join us. We have been blessed to have a positive response in this the first 8 weeks after our announcement. I am captivated by God's people.

So this is some of my story. Over the next weeks and months I'll share more with you about how I see my unique life experience, education and passions lining up completely to bring me back to Baltimore. Over the weeks to come I hope to share with you the story of my old church home. I'll cast vision for those of you who may consider moving to a major city to see God move in a major way. I'm excited to share this experience with you. This is why today I want to invite you to connect with us in the following ways.

1. Sign up for our prayer requests and updates:

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2. Visit TheBaltimoreProject.com for more info.

3. Spread the word using the following widget. Simply click on the 'share bar' across the bottom and post a note on your blog inviting your friends to check us out. The widget gives you some links to our Twitter Page, Facebook and a link to download a PDF.

God is doing something amazing in our midst. We'd love to share the journey with you. Get connected to The Baltimore Project and ask God how you could be involved.


posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, November 07, 2008

4 Comments:

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Hey man, awesome stuff!! I am really excited for you and look forward to following all that God does up there!

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Jon said...

I grew up in Baltimore too. But my experience was more teh suburban privileged side until my father went to jail...

Now I am a pastor in Kentucky. I will be praying for you.

Jon Rohr
junkferjon@gmail.com

 
At 8:19 AM, Blogger vtpastorwill said...

We are praying for you - this is awesome. If you aren't already familiar with our church in Gaithersburg, MD you should check it out. It is a case study in how to embrace diversity and cultivate unity and spiritual growth as one body across every socio-economic, cultural and even religious background.

Visit Church of the Redeemer online at www.church-redeemer.org for more information.

I pray what God has done here would encourage you and inspire you for what you are seeing Him calling you to in Baltimore. May the Lord's strength, courage and wisdom be with you as you go forth. You are not alone.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Rob said...

I was catching up on some blogs and saw your shout out from Craig Groeschel. That is GREAT! Anytime you are back in the 757 give us at Waters Edge a holla.

 

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