Alumni Events

Go & Show

Anna Montgomery June 14, 2013
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TeenPact Leadership Schools, in conjunction with the Jimmy Brazell Foundation, presented the Second Annual Jimmy Brazell Impact Scholarship Second Place Award to TeenPact student Sarah Braun from Iowa.


Read her award-winning essay below, written in response to the topic question, “How have you impacted the world or your community through servant-minded, Christ-like love?”



Jimmy Brazell passionately and unreservedly gave Christ-like love away. On the inside of Jimmy’s Bible was written: THE ESSENCE OF LOVE IS GIVING.  THE ESSENCE OF LIFE IS LOVE.” Isaiah 61:1 says: “The Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Both this verse and Jimmy’s quote tell us that as Christians we must go out and live a life of selfless, sacrificial love.


Jesus went to the poor, neglected, and broken. He went to those in need of a spiritual doctor. Jesus left his throne and came to our world to serve sinful people. As Jesus’ followers we are COMMANDED to “GO.” Jesus didn’t say “go later,” or “go when you want.” In the Bible Jesus called a man to “come follow me,” but the man was too busy. If we think we are too busy now or we’ll go represent Jesus to others later; it will never happen. Winston Churchill once said, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” We all must step out in faith now and follow where God leads now. There is no promise of tomorrow for me, you, or the lost person on the street.


God put it on my heart to join The Rock, a ministry serving inner city children in Rockville, Connecticut. I am not from the same background as these kids, but that doesn’t matter. God gave me a passion to reach my community with His love.


The Rock is based on Metro Ministries, a kid’s church currently serving over 25,000 kids each week in New York City. Willie Perez, sidewalk Sunday school director at Metro, is famous for saying, “Your willingness and faithfulness, or lack thereof, will make a difference in someone’s eternity.” How very true. We are to be Christ’s ambassadors to the world. It is my prayer that when given an opportunity to be the face of Jesus’ love, I will not miss it.


In our small corner of the world, on Friday night, we hold our kids church. We bus the children in from the streets, give them a warm meal, lead them in a powerful time of worship, and then present an engaging Bible lesson. I volunteer in the preschool church, older kid’s church, and with the home visitation team.


The staff visits the children biweekly.  Before home visits we meet for prayer, and then split into teams of two. We climb many dark steep staircases and enter small smelly apartments with broken doorknobs and thin doors. We go from one cold and drafty apartment to the next, checking on each child and inviting other children on the streets to come to The Rock.


I see inside each child’s home, and hear his or her story. Most Rock families consist of a single mother with many children who do not share the same last name, or a grandmother acting as mother in place of the children’s absent parents. These children have been victims of neglect, hunger, physical, emotional, and sometimes sexual abuse. A select few have a good parent; however, most children live in unhealthy environments.     


These are children who have souls, children who don’t need pity, but love. They are made in the image of God, made to worship God, made to lead others to God. The children are hopeless until someone brings the hope of Jesus. It is our obligation as Christians to fight for the kid’s souls and to protect them through the power of prayer.  Jesus calls us to follow him into the streets where the hearts of these children wait.


What I’ve seen in the kid’s lives is difficult, but they are proof that your situation in life is not an excuse for apathy, but an excuse for action. When the kids live out Jesus’ example, they are a strong witness to others, and their love and reliance on the Lord grows. There are a lot of children who have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord of their life, but I am seeing many children come to Christ. The children that are Christians aren’t half-in; they are trying the best they can to live like Christ.


To be a witness you have to go and show. Go meet people where they are and show by loving and caring. Billy Graham said, “The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless. The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” I do visitations in Rockville because, by coming into the families homes, I am meeting them where they are and loving them for who they are. I can walk out on those streets with Christ by my side and entrust my life to him as a witness to his kingdom. 


I want people to remember Christ’s love in me. There is no time to waste; I must choose to serve the Lord with my whole heart today. I can only fulfill my call when I fully rely on Christ’s strength and love. If I live a mission of 1 Corinthians 13 love, others will see Jesus through me. There are people everywhere searching for something to fill their life. I have nothing and can do nothing, except through Christ, and it was Christ’s love that compelled me to join The Rock.


We must go out and be authentic Christians. We must step out in faith. Go, give love. Serve unreservedly, and show we truly care. As a result, our love for, reliance on, and relationship with Christ will continue to grow. Through Christ-like love, others are coming to know the love that Jimmy lived by, and through Christ-like love we can make a difference in this world. THE ESSENCE OF LOVE IS GIVING.  THE ESSENCE OF LIFE IS LOVE.”



About the Author

Anna Montgomery

Anna Montgomery (and her crazy sidekick pup, Flynn), happily call the cornfields of Columbus, Indiana home.   She got her start in TeenPact… Read More