How Great is our God!
“Some of us, no doubt, have to live outwardly solitary lives. We all live alone after fellowship and communion. We die alone, and in the depths of our souls we all live alone. So let us be thankful that the Master knows the bitterness of solitude, and has Himself walked that path. Jesus Christ’s union with the Father was deep, close, constant; altogether transcending any experience of ours. But still He sets before us the path of comfort for every lonely heart: ‘I am not alone, for the Father is with Me.’ If the earth is dark, let us look to Heaven. If the world holds no friend, let us turn to Him who never leaves us. If dear ones are torn from our grasp, let us grasp God.” — Alexander MacLaren
CELEBRATE WITH US
Cultured was able to run a youth service for Emerald City Bible Church. We had 10 students who were committed to three weeks of training. We worshiped with dancing, singing, rapping, testimonies, and the word of God.
One of our Student Leaders, Naomi Kirori, shared her testimony during the youth service. I have known Naomi for 6 months. We met at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy (RVLA), a school in South Seattle, when she joined my enrichment dance class. RVLA is smaller than most of the other 6th-12th grade schools in the area since it’s a charter school. This made having a class there difficult because we shared the space with other classes. I was able to invite her and the team to dance at the studio at Cultured which was right up the street from the school.
They went from dancing only as a team for their school to dancing also for the youth ministry at Cultured as well. After practice, the students would stay for Cultured night (our youth group night on Thursdays). Naomi was not only my strongest dancer, but a strong leader. It melted my heart to hear how she was encouraged by the ministry this year. This is her testimony:
“Hi, my name is Naomi, and Cultured for me is a community that I feel safe and protected by. It’s an outlet for creative expression and it also teaches me how to be powerful by being used by God. When I am involved in Cultured, I feel supported and loved by everyone because of their open arms and warmful souls. Cultured is a family that is bonded by our love for each other, through music and culture. While going through a tough time at home and at school, I was able to come to Cultured and find peace there.
Cultured challenges us to be the person God called us to be. God has called me to be a loving, adventurous, an entertainer, and a strong willed woman. And through my struggles God has made me stronger by worshiping him.”
This testimony blessed my soul because I knew that even though Naomi smiled every single day and encouraged others, she was having a hard time this year herself. But the blessing of her testimony is that she was able to get through because of the community who loved her and showed that Christ has your back through all the things you may encounter in life.
Pray with us
With many students sitting at home right now, many of them have had a lot of idle time and some have engaged in violent acts toward one another.
Sadly on July 20th one of our graduates, Adriel Webb, died from gun violence. This broke our students’ and leaders’ hearts. He was an amazing kid – never the one to be into trouble. Hearing that he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time is heartbreaking.
Adriel Webb was a sweet guy he never gave any of the leaders a hard time. He went to Seattle Urban Academy, one of the schools we frequently help at and visit. Adriel always had a smile on his face. He accepted the Lord into his heart when we went to Winter Camp in March. I didn’t think that would be the last time that I would see him face to face. This death was hard for our ministry and the students.
If you would like to make a donation to support Adriel’s family, please click the button to the right.
After he passed there were more shootings throughout the south-end every day in July. Please keep us in your prayers and keep praying for the city of Seattle.
- Pray that we are able to continue to provide a space where the students can grieve.
- Pray for counselors that can help support us and the students.
- Pray that the violence will end.
- Pray for the hearts of the family and friends that have lost a loved one.