One of the girls in the wreck with part of our Street Reach kids, Katie, did not go back after she left the hospital. She was the one taken by ambulance~turned out she had whiplash. Last night, their last night of worship, was "share" night. And she wanted to go. I encouraged her mom to let her if she wanted to, and I offered to go with them. What started out as kind of a favor for them~to be another passenger in the car~turned out to be a night I will never forget.
We got there right as worship was starting. I sat and listened to those teenagers sing and I watched them as they worshiped and my tears started flowing. The worship eventually overtook my watching them and I participated with them. It was such a sweet time, one that I am so glad I got to be a part of.
People stood up to share what God has done in their lives this week, and a theme that was talked about was "divine appointments". God had a plan for all of them there this week, and not one thing that happened was accidental. Not even the wreck that happened Wednesday. We may never know this side of Heaven what God's reasoning was for that, but I do know that there was a reason.
Some of the sites that volunteers were working at had kids that gave their little hearts to God this week. Our church's sites, as of yesterday, were the seed planting sites. Their leader, Erin, was a little discouraged at first when she heard about the other sites, but then God reminded her of the verses that Paul wrote that talk about how one person plants the seed, another waters, and another harvests them. They were seed planters this week, and not a thing is wrong with that.
After the worship service was over, they broke out in their church groups for another time of sharing. I am so glad we stayed for that. Erin started them out in praise, and teenager after teenager spoke up, thanking God for various things He did this week. They thanked Him for the hot weather, Pastor Tim who heads Street Reach, their leaders, the kids, for Him allowing them to show His love...they went on and on.
Then they prayed and started sharing. One of our teens shared about a little boy that he was brokenhearted for. He was concerned about his home life and how he left them yesterday~hitting them with sticks and cursing at them. As he sat and talked, tears just rolled down his face. This is one of the ones who filled out paperwork to work there all next summer. (There were a couple who filled out forms.) To sit and watch and listen was the most humbling thing I have ever sat through. And the entire time, I was a complete and total wreck.
I can't imagine how the leaders must have felt all week. It's so touching seeing God grab hold of these teenagers, my own included. (Though this post isn't about them, it's about all of them who went.) I don't know if their hearts will ever be the same. I know mine won't. As I sat and listened and watched, I could feel myself falling more in love with this group of teenagers. They are an amazing group of people that I pray I get the chance to better know and be involved with.
I hated to leave them last night. I am so glad I got to be just a tiny part of what went on there this week. These teenagers are a living example to me of Romans 12:2. "Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (That's just part of the verse.) I can honestly say that a lot of them have been transformed this week. I think they will come home different, on fire for what God is doing inside of them. They are leaving Street Reach as commissioned missionaries to come back home to their part of the our city. I know that God has done major things inside them this week, and I know He will continue. It's so funny, and I always say this, how God takes your service to others for Him and turns into a blessing for you.
I would say that happened to them this week.
I will leave you with some pictures I took on Tuesday when I was down there serving lunch. I got to see some of the kids they ministered to and snapped some pictures. Thanks for reading this, and for reading the entire length of this. Will you keep praying for these teenagers? That God continues to work in them and through them? That it doesn't stop when they leave the Brinkley Heights area? This week was just the first step. Thank you.
Love to all.
Here's a video recap they showed last night of what went on there this week.