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Hey, my name is Brandon. I am currently a sophomore Bible major at Moody Bible Institute here in Chicago. The Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to study His Word at this amazing school and I love it! Upon coming to Chicago, one of my biggest prayers was that God would provide for my education financially if it was His will for me to be at MBI. Two years later, praise the Lord, I am debt free and hope to graduate in 2012 owing nothing financially to MBI. God has more than remained faithful to His calling me to Chicago.

One of the many ways that God has provided for me over my time here is through the provision of jobs. My first semester in Chicago, I took a job at a school-run call center; this was basically a phone sales job in order to raise money for MBI. I called donors and people who had previously given money to MBI and begged them shamelessly to give more; I felt like a beggar child on the streets of Calcutta. My pure, absolute hatred for this job aside, the Lord provided for an entire semester of my education with this job. At the end of the first semester in Fall 2008, God allowed me to get a job as a valet attendant here in the city through an old friend who referred me.

My job as a valet attendant has really allowed me to see God’s hand of provision in my life. Aside from the financial aspects, my average twenty-five plus hours a week spent at this job have proven to be a God-given ministry. I have been able to have several amazing conversations with other employees, share the Gospel, and see God’s involvement in the relationships I have made as a valet attendant.

I remember one instance in particular when one of my managers approached me and said, “Hey, you’re a Moody guy right? I have some questions about Jesus Christ.” I was floored! I hadn’t even brought up a spiritual subject, and God gave me this opportunity out of the blue. For the next thirty minutes I was able to share with my manager the Good News of Jesus Christ and His saving work on the Cross. Although he did not make any sort of decision for Christ, I could tell that he walked away with something to think about. I was grateful to God for this chance to share His Gospel with an unbeliever and began praying for more opportunities to share with people at work.

As a full-time student working twenty-five hours a week, I don’t have a lot of extra time to be involved in extra-curricular ministry activities at the same time. However, I believe that my job as a valet attendant is a ministry and the Lord is using me where I am at in life right now. I am so thankful to God for, not only this amazing job that has paid for my school so far, but also for the ministry opportunities He has given me through it!

It’s been awhile since we’ve broadcast some things going on in the city for us to participate in missionally, but as the thaw starts and people begin coming out of hibernation there are a plethora of opportunities. If you see something going on in the UIC Area that we could email out and put up at www.UICArea.com, please send them along!

FamilyFarmed Expo is at the UIC Forum (Halsted & Roosevelt) this year from March 11-13

There will be a full slate of seminars, workshops and displays intended to educate attendees on food issues, such as how increased access to vacant land can encourage healthy eating in our neighborhoods, the best practices for growing community markets, improving food security for refugee populations, food distribution and procurement issues, how to access Illinois Fresh Food Financing Initiative funds, and using storm water and compost as local resources. The other highlight of the expo will be the annual "Localicious" dinner party pairing family farms with chef driven restaurants for a sampling of the freshest ingredients and flavors of the season. Purchase your tickets to the expo here and Localicious party here.

One Book, One Chicago Selection Announced

The Chicago Public Library just announced Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín as its spring selection for Chicago’s citywide book club. Check it out, read it, and look up discussion groups at the local library here.

Due to technical difficulties the presentation on human trafficking didn’t happen two weeks ago and instead will take place this Sunday (3/7) from 10:20 – 10:50 AM in between services at The Meeting Place.

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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