Man. I don't even know where to start! We just finished a time of 'bless ups' and 'yay God's'-- a time to reflect and share with the group things we see God doing and orchestrating, a time to give shout outs to your teammates that you've seen God using and working in and through. Tonight was a really, really sweet time... my heart is overflowing
I just want to share a few little stories with you that I heard tonight from the group. It was very well summed up during our time of prayer, as a youth prayed, "God, I came here wanting You to use me to change lives... but instead, it's my life that is being changed." Hearts are being softened, lives are being changed- and it is an amazing thing to witness and be a part of.
VBS... just a little reminder- before we came, we were anticipating around 250 kids.
We had to make a store run tonight for more candy and craft supplies... as we had a total of 450 kids today.
I could tell countless stories that kids have shared. Our youth have fallen in love with these kids, and I've heard countless times how sad they are that tomorrow is the last day. Incredible.
An amazing story, that starts back before we even left the Horizon parking lot:
We were getting ready to load up the vans and Vince runs up to Jordan, saying he forgot his little orange Bible at home, and wondering if he could run to Jordan's office to get his little brown Gideon Bible.
Fast forward to today.
A group was sitting at VBS in a classroom, when a man walks up to the open window. "Hey, excuse me... I desire to have a Bible. A Gideon one.. you know, one with Psalms and Proverbs and the New Testament. Do you have one?"
Jordan responded that he did, but not with him today, that he'd bring it tomorrow.
The man, as he's walking away turns and adds, "Hey, and, I'm kind of particular about the color. If you have a brown one, I'd like to have a brown one."
Certainly not a coincidence!! Amazing!
Another story from today:
There was a group that was supposed to be painting at a school. They arrived there at the scheduled time, to find the building lock and no one to help them. After waiting and debating for a bit, they decided to walk to the house where another group was painting.
Kristen (who is in the bottom picture) was supposed to be at the school. Quickly after arriving at the house, she was approached by some kids who told her they liked to paint, too, so she let them help out with painting the house. While they were painting, long story short, she ends up sharing Jesus with this little girl, who says she wants to know Him and wants to go to Heaven and prays right there to receive Jesus. Incredible, right?! Even more incredible-- she goes and tells her sister about it, who then comes over and says she wants to pray too!
I was blown away as I listened to example after example.
Jordan shared at the end the of the night tonight. He said, "Yes, this is a mission trip... but all we are doing here is living a Christian life." As Christians, we should be serving. We should be out in our communities, helping wherever there is need. We should be sharing Jesus with those who walk by, wondering why we are doing what we're doing. He challenged us to let this be preparation for going home.
My heart is stirred, friends. It is relatively easy when our sole purpose in being here is to serve.
Why should our lives be any different anywhere else?! All we've done is step out, get out of our little bubbles, get into the communities here, and God has opened door after door after door. I have no doubt that the same could happen at home.
Please pray that God would continue to stir our hearts, to give us hearts to serve, to give us boldness.
I'll conclude this with words that we sang during worship tonight... words that seem to collectively echo the hearts of this group:
What can I say
What can I do
but offer this heart, Oh God, completely to You?