“Mr Bartholomew, what’s an Application?”

by Jason Chang

I might have actually convinced some of the kids at the day camp that my name is Mr Bartholomew .  A few weeks ago, I got a haircut courtesy of some fellow BUPers. So with the new look, I decided to tell the kids at the camp that I was Mr. Jason’s twin brother, Mr Bartholomew . Now there’s still a group of kids that call me Mr Bartholomew…

So anyways, one thing I’ve had trouble with at camp besides lying about my haircut was the small group discussions. I don’t really know how to lead a discussion about Sunday-school style topics to kids. Every question I asked was either too difficult (about things like transubstantiation), or way too simple(answered with either Jesus of God). As a result of my poor questions, the discussions weren’t really going anywhere. And I was getting really frustrated. The messages would be great, things like talking about how because of Jesus’ example we should love each other, and the kids would answer questions and such. Then ten minutes later, the same kids who answered questions would get into a fight that involved shoving and spitting about something trivial like who the line leader was. So there definitely was a problem.

One discussion time, we were talking about how to be good friends. The kids were coming up with good ideas, like talking to people who were lonely, or tickling sad looking friends. So I asked everyone what they were actually going to do that day, an application. One of the kids looked at me and was like, “Mr. Bartholomew, what’s an application? Do we actually have to do that?”

Being at BUP we’ve learned a lot about what’s wrong in the city. In past posts I’ve talked about being bogged down and discouraged. And one thing that’s really upset me is how little we actually can do here. With only a bit over a week left of BUP, praying about how we can actually apply what we’ve learned here would be great. Because we know that we actually have to apply what we’ve learned in our lives.

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One thought on ““Mr Bartholomew, what’s an Application?”

  1. As a five year resident of Southwest Baltimore I’ve enjoyed reading the posts of the BUP participants. I hope that some of you might consider living here or in a similar urban neighborhood when you choose where you will spend your life. The blight and overwhelming needs around us can be discouraging but, on the other hand, it is so easy here (relatively speaking) to imitate the life Jesus calls us to lead in Matthew 25. Where better can we find opportunities to minister to Jesus in the least of these among us than in SW Baltimore. I confess that I was bewildered my first six months in Baltimore City. But then I was able to begin to embrace my new and different home and to adopt a lifestyle of service to my community. I know that so many of our SW neighborhoods look as if no one cares. But the reality is that there are folks in every neighborhood who want to make our community safer and gentler and more nourishing of the soul. I’ve met individuals who are quietly going about their lives here doing small but amazing things to help lift up their neighbors. So thanks for coming to SW Baltimore BUP participants! May your experiences here help you make life decisions that will bless countless others through the years. Remember that there is a blessing for even a cup of cold water given in the name of Jesus. So nothing done to help another person is ever wasted or meaningless. It all makes a difference whether we can ever see it or not.

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