In A Place of Learning

1 Corinthians 15: 58

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast,immovable,always abounding in the work of the Lord,knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Recently I learned that I have a lot to learn. It was during a during a breakout session while attending a conference  for Youth For Christ. We were discussing what works in doing ministry in the city. I am new to working with a ministry serving in my city. I work for Miami Youth For Christ as a tutor for elementary school kids in the KIX program ( Kids in Christ).I have served at church leading small groups, organizing the young adults and helping lead setting up each Sunday. But this is a different kind of work.  While I have volunteered over the years with this organization. Last fall I was offered a position as staff. All of it is work for the glory of God.

I struggle with not feeling qualified to do this work. That somehow I need to do have done more to be here. To help kids with their homework while showing them the love of Christ. That I don’t know enough to do this work. But then I remember that God qualifies me. He is the one who created me to do this kind of work. In the talents and abilities. In creating a patience within me that I have doubted was there. Most of all recognizing that I have a lot to learn is a good place to be at. It means I am open to learning more, being able to forgive mistakes I may  WILL make during this school year.

I look forward to what this year will bring. Hanging out with these kids during the week. Helping them play, learn and understand who they are in Christ. Getting to be a part of this is a huge blessing. God is at work in this place, in the community we serve. He is there during the games, laughter and learning. He has provided this safe place for the kids to come and us to love on them. The scripture at the top of the post is an encouragement from our staff training. To see the bigger picture of what God is doing in this place as we do this work in this mission field.

If you would like to learn more about this ministry, visit the Miami website of Miami Youth for Christ.

Would you pray for this school year? This community in Miami and this ministry to serve God well. For His love and truth to shine through their lives. I would appreciate such prayers!

 

Dying to self

  I spent a good part of this past week doing something that just nearly a year ago was just an idea. Something that occurred to me in the middle of worship while leading at the High School missions camp. The thought was “what if there was a shorter version of camp for the college age people at my church?” The college ministry had ended a year or two before. This made me feel sad and I was not sure how this idea could even come about so I pushed it aside. At least I thought I had. Through out the rest of the week, witnessing these teenagers open up to God and each other the idea popped into my head again and again. Again and again I would push it aside. 

 

Why?

 

Because it was easier to doubt that it was possible than to dare to dream that it was possible. Because if this idea relied on myself alone then it would not happen. 

 

Then I had to let go of the idea that this thing would even need me. Yep you read that right. I had to allow myself to see that perhaps I would not be needed beyond having this thought and passing it along. That perhaps that was all I was meant to do. 

 

In that moment is when I began to understand what it meant to die unto oneself. Something I have heard over and over numerous times in my walk with Christ. But I just could not understand what that could mean or look . For me it means letting go. Simple sounding but not so simple in practice. It meant I had to let go of my ego that it would be me to make this college retreat happen. Nope that was up to another person entirely. 

 

In the end I had the privilege of leading the young women who joined us. Sleeping over together, staying up late talking about life, studying the Word and creating our own inside jokes. We were set off on a fit of giggles on numerous times during our three days together and boys would just shake their heads at us. It was awesome to hear the stories of prayer, repentance, worship and bonding that went on as the young men camped out together in a backyard. 

 

If I had been selfish and determined to organize this retreat myself it would of been a disaster. I do not say that because I doubt myself but I realize that God has placed people around me who are better equipped to take charge of these types of things. For this moment that is just fine. 

Sometimes you are just an idea person, there at the right time at just the right moment to say “Hey why don’t we…” Many hands and feet came together to make this retreat happen and I am so grateful for that! I am so thankful for all the people who provided meals, housing,  to serve the community. It was a beautiful thing to see.

 

Dying to self really is not that painful when the fruit from it is far greater. My prayer for these young people is for them to continue to pursue God and to grow closer with each other. To have a foundation in Christ that will be ingrained in them for life. It was a blessing to get to play a small part in it.