Testament in Rogers Park | Bleader

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Testament in Rogers Park

Posted By on 12.22.11 at 08:07 AM

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Last Friday night while running a few errands, I was surprised to find carolers standing in front of Morse "L" Liquors, a corner right by the el stop where you're far more likely to encounter panhandlers or crazy people. "Would you like some hot chocolate?" a young man asked, pointing to a large orange thermos. "No, thanks, I'm here for the bourbon," I said. I got my Maker's Mark, stayed for a rousing version of "Hark! the Herald," and continued with my rounds.

Circling back, I ran into another young guy on the kitty-corner side of the street. I asked him what was up, and he said they were a local branch of Youth With a Mission, based in a church at Clark and Devon. Jesse, he said his name was, had attended the Moody Bible Institute for a time, and had met his wife, Emily, while working with YWAM in Jordan. "But we care about people here, too," he said. "We do unconventional things like this"—he gestured across the street—"to try start a conversation." His particular group was focusing on city dwellers, "people with real needs."

Another northbound train made a stop at the station, and some more people disembarked. According to YWAM, its aim is "simply to know God and to make him known." I'm not sure about that, but as I walked home, the carolers now on to "Jingle Bells," I was struck by how many people I saw exit the train station smiling.

Read more from Testament Week:

"Testament Week: Salvation terminator," by J.R. Jones

"The Woman's Bible," by Sam Worley

"Testament Week: the Book of Jim & Artie," by Ben Sachs

"In the beginning, God created smug teenage boys," by Tal Rosenberg

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