Late in July, John Shirk, who uses poetry in Chicago to engage people in spiritual conversations, sent out a request. The National Poetry Slam was coming to the city, August 13-18. “There will be about 600 poets from all over the United States, as well as a few from overseas converging on the city to compete. It’s an exciting time to be a poet in Chicago,” he said.
At the last minute, he’d been asked to help organize hospitality events, and he needed help. He asked people to pray. “Please join me in praying and ask God to show up and work through my weakness in this impossible situation to bring glory to Himself,” he said.
Below, John reports on how God worked through this situation. Continue to pray for this event, which kicks off next week.
The text asked if I would be willing to help with hospitality for the National Poetry Slam. My friend explained the current hospitality coordinator had to resign for health reasons. The event was three weeks away. There was no budget. They had been hoping to get local businesses to sponsor some of the hospitality functions. Still had two meals and a hospitality room which needed food. Three weeks was hardly enough time for a gifted organizer to pull that off.
I am not a gifted organizer. I wanted to help, but this would be operating out of weakness. I told my friend I couldn’t promise anything, but I would try to help. I sent out an email to my prayer list telling them about the need and asking them to pray that God would use my weakness to bring glory to Himself.
He didn’t wait long. I had asked for prayer, not money. But within hours I received a response from a donor who was interested in helping. Within days he had committed $6000 to help cover the cost of catering the meals and food for the hospitality room.
But God wasn’t done. I received another call from a church that was sending $2000 to help fund the event. When I told them the meals and hospitality room were already funded they replied “Great, now you have another $2000 to bless your poet friends.”
The time is short. The money is plenty, but the workers are few. But I’m still praying, and you can too. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers. Pray for me as I contact churches and individuals here in Chicago to see who God will raise up. Who gets to be Jesus to the poets who will visit our city next week.
Send a note of encouragement to John at firstname.lastname@example.org.