The youth were anything but ordinary as they shared their experiences on the mission field and since their return. James and Dave were in Ireland developing relationships with the Irish youth and establishing drop-in centers where they will continue to serve as safe hangout places throughout the year. One highlight for James was an Irish teen that remembered him from last year and sought him out to further grow their relationship. It was a confirmation, not only that God wanted James to be there, but that the work that began last year bore fruit and would continue to increase.
Chanel was a team member on the trip to the Bahamas that AJ led. At 13 years old, she “knew it was time for me to go.” Oh, that we adults would have such assurances from the Lord, and that we would act on them.
Bahamas seems like an idyllic spot for a missions trip, doesn’t it? But the team there (all junior high-ers) did back-breaking heavy-duty construction work for Camp Bahamas, a camp for inner city children from Nassau. On Eleuthera, there is no fresh water supply, so the young teens had to descend into a huge “pit,” a giant cistern to capture rainwater, and use jackhammers to level out the bottom to prepare it for cement. It was 15 degrees hotter down there than the 100+ degrees on the surface. Idyllic? Not so much. They also did hard landscape construction work. Then, in the afternoons, they ran a VBS for the local children.
AJ is planning to write a post himself regarding his experiences, but let me just share his closing remark - “I’m trying to structure my day so that at the end of the day, I'm not embarrassed to talk to God.” Again, the Lord mightily used a youth to minister to us “wise” adults.
You’ll be hearing lots more in a later post regarding Lauren’s trip. So much to share! But for now, this was her closing comment regarding the Christians and the church in Uganda - “Instead of trying to move God, they let God move them.”
O Lord, please keep me from trying to persuade You to my feeble desires. Help me to sense Your leading and be obedient to it. Please move me that I might align with You. Move my spirit to complete dependence upon You.
In one of the slide show pictures, I spotted a child in a t-shirt that read JUST DID IT. As I listened to the testimonies, I thought that it was so appropriate. Nike says “Just Do It.” These teens DID it! I wanna do it too! Do you? Do you want to get wrecked for the ordinary?