Reblogged from Words in High Def
Are you serving God with all you’ve got? Most of us have stress, worries and demands on our lives, but at the end of the day we go home to a decent meal and a soft pillow where we can forget the burdens for a while. But creature comforts don’t always equate to contentment. Janet and Mark Drez knew God was telling them this wasn’t enough.
“Life to the Full”
by Janet Drez
Many of us love to sing or pray the words, “Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours.” If that’s you, I have two questions in light of that prayer. First, do you really want your heart broken? And second, if God breaks your heart, do you realize you can never go back?
For 12 years, my husband has been a junior high teacher in a diverse, low-economic school. He started a WyldLife club (a Christian outreach) at his school four years ago, and I joined his leader team two years later. Additionally, as women’s ministry director for a local church, I had opportunities to outreach and serve in this neighborhood with the women of my church.
Increasingly Mark and I found ourselves in this neighborhood. We were getting to know the teens and their families, spending time, sharing meals, hanging out, celebrating birthdays, praying. And God broke my heart – for the cycle of poverty, for the grip of drugs, for the fear of violence, for the sweet, amazing, precious families in the neighborhood who desperately need to know the abundant life of Jesus. And I couldn’t go back.
We put our 5 bedroom suburban house on the market. Bought a falling-down 1950’s 2 bedroom house in the ‘hood – that we promptly named Casa de Vida – House of Life as God imprinted His desire to give ‘life to the full’ indelibly on our hearts. I stepped down from my full-time ministry position and stepped up to obedience to the ministry of presence in my neighborhood. It has been an adventure! Scary, unknown, stretching, difficult…joyful, powerful, deepening and amazing. We have teens in our home at least three days a week. We have women of the neighborhood coming for Bible study. I volunteer in a kindergarten class at the nearby school to lavish these little ones with God’s love. We hosted a party in our backyard recently and had over 100 neighbors show up! This is life to the full!
If you’d like to be a prayer partner, support or follow the work God is doing join “The Ministry of Casa de Vida/Mark and Janet Drez” on Facebook. Share your encouragement or story of being gloriously broken for Jesus in a comment below.