Oklahoma City Mission Trip 2024 | Update #4

June 7, 2024

by Jeremy Johnston & Tim Graham

Our day started with breakfast and the daily devotional given by Brayden MacKey.  Brayden started out with a song by House Fires, Lift You Higher:

The lyrics:

Oh, I won’t let the rocks 

Cry out in my place

No, We return the breath

You gave with our praise

Brayden shared ways we can praise God continuously is…

  • Flip the tables in our own hearts
  • Direct everything to God
  • Optimistic point of view (towards others ie: the homeless)
  • Pray in exaltation and interceding 

Following breakfast, we set out to do what City Center calls “poverty simulation”. We broke down into four teams with different scenarios and had to navigate the city using public transportation.  For example, we had to be a single mom with kids looking for housing and mental health.  The task had us ride a bus across town and walk to our destination (in 95 degree Oklahoma heat).  Oklahoma City’s broken public transit system and lack of side walks made this task difficult for our teams to navigate.  The thought of having children and a stroller as single mom traveling with possible groceries would be a daunting task. To catch a bus for transfer meant walking long distances.  Although the infrastructure is planned to be improved it has a long way to go.  The locals call it the concrete jungle.  A local young man that is a fixture at the OK City Center was hit by a drunk driver in the middle of the day because he was walking in the street due to lack of sidewalks.

Here are two God stories from our team’s experiences doing this exercise…

Tim, Linda, Dalton & Caitlin encountered a homeless girl (Madison) and her male friend (T-Bone) and prayed for them just before getting to their destination.  As the team was leaving the destination, a mental health facility, T-Bone called the team over to pray for his friend.  His friend was a large man in a wheelchair and we were told that he needed prayer.  Jorge said he hears voices saying that he is unworthy and that he should take his life.  He had his arms palm down on the table.  When he turned his palms over, we could see cuts about 6” long on each arm, some new and some old.  In addition, he had fresh cuts from last night on his jugular where he tried to take his life. After getting permission, we laid hands and prayed for him.  He said he struggles with suicidal thoughts and cutting; we shared scripture with him and Tim’s mantra being able to do anything for 24 seconds, then 24 minutes and then 24 hours.  We took out a cell phone and asked him to hold his breath.  The whole team, Jorge and T-Bone all held their breath.  After 24 seconds, we told him that if he could do that for 24 seconds he could do anything. We prayed for him again.  You could feel God moving and the emotion of that encounter will not be forgotten by the team.

The team of Jeremy, Ivan, Vicki & Adrienne planned the order and how they were going to go about the task of getting to two spots in downtown OKC.  Nothing seemed to be going right; they started off going the wrong direction, missed the first bus and grabbed the second which took them downtown to the bus terminal.  They had planned to go to one location first, that bus was broken down, and so they decided to go to their second stop Hope Community Services on bus 40 instead. After touring Hope, at the bus stop they ran into a young lady named Myeisha. They introduced themselves and share that we were there on a mission trip from the City Center. They asked her if she needed any prayer and she immediately started to break down.  She started tell the team that she wasn’t even planning on riding the bus that her dad was going to pick her up, but she rode the bus anyway. She began to tell them that she needed prayer for her mental illness and to be closer to God.  On the way out of Hope, she was praying to God that she needed a sign, she felt that she didn’t want to live anymore.  The team prayed for her and she was weeping.  She was speechless because she knew that God showed up. The team told her that this was a divine appointment;  that God had them travel 800 miles to meet her face to face.  That he would travel any distance to get to her because he loved her that much.  By time we left her she had told us she had new Hope in what God was going to do in her life. 

During this time, Brayden, Lilly and Greg had stayed back at the City Center to help with the refugees that use the space as a school every Thursday.  They spent time teaching middle eastern children how to read and learn words in English.  One of the boys took to Brayden and when they were going outside he came running up saying “teacher, teacher you come too”.  This was an inspiring interaction for Brayden. 

After our late return, we had lunch and debriefed with Julie and Jed Chapel. As a treat we went to a local ice cream called Brahms! (A mission trip tradition.)

Later in the evening, a group the RISE project came and gave us a presentation of their prison ministry.  The ministry consists of a cosmetology school in prisons that give women the skills and education to be able to get jobs after they are released.  The school is more then just learning about hair and makeup—It also includes recovery ministry, discipleship and Bible study.  They are in the process of starting their first program outside of prison that will include men learning how to cut hair as deference to prison. 

It was a great, intense, awesome day of ministry. 



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