East Colfax is one of the darkest streets in the Denver area. The crime rate in this section is off the charts. It has long been a hang out for drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, and those stifled with severe poverty living in dozens of run down motels. Last week my wife Patty and I joined a ministry called “Jesus on Colfax” led by a pastor friend Shawn Sikkema, we handed out food and offered prayers for any takers living in two motel complexes.
Together we ministered to addicts, wayward sons and daughters, those with mental illness, health issues, ex-prisoners, and others who for one reason or another found themselves calling a motel home. Jesus truly was on Colfax that night.
In the midst of this battlefield for the mind and soul was a powerful light found in room 15. John and Juanita lived in this unit for the past two months and as the door opened Juanita boldly uttered, “The LORD is Good!!!” Pastor Shawn warned us about this room, he told us that once we met this couple we would want to come back every Tuesday. He was spot on with this prediction, as a spirit of joy flowed out of Juanita fueled by a heart anchored in the worship of her Savior Jesus Christ.
John and Juanita are “unofficially ordained” as the pastors of their motel complex and are quick to offer loving prayers for the others, their prayers are filed with truth and compassion. We too were grateful to be recipients of their blessed words. Before our conversation ended Juanita broke out in praise that filled East Colfax with a fresh invasion of the light of King Jesus. As we departed room 15 with the joy of Jesus and some big hugs one of the residents a few rooms down shouted out, “You all are having much too fun!!” He couldn’t have said it better, in one of highest homicide areas in Denver we did “church” and it was a blast.
As we left we were reminded by Juanita what a gift praise is and the dynamos or explosive power, that flows from it to overcome the darkness and bring a “breakthrough” of Heaven’s Light. When we praise our Father no matter how dark our situation we flood the area around us with the dynamos of the Holy Spirit and His light will overtake the darkness for the glory of His Kingdom.
I will extol the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1-3
What a challenge for each of us to call upon the Lord in prayer and praise!