Friday, April 03, 2009

Lessons from Atlanta (Part 1)

Over Spring Break, I helped lead a team of 30 Christian high school students to the city of Atlanta. It is always remarkable to see how God uses and changes these young people over the course of this annual missions trip. While working with the homeless in the city, they are exposed to a culture and way of life that they only previously knew through stereotypes.

What also surprises me is how much I am affected each year. I wish I had written these thoughts when they were more fresh in my mind, but I would like to share with you some of the perspective I gained from the trip this year.

The first and biggest lesson was how to trust in God. My initial challenge is to be one of two drivers taking a school bus from Kansas City to Atlanta (20 hours). Driving overnight terrified me until the days before. God gave me his comfort knowing that his will would be done, and his will was for us to survive.

This trust was further tested the following day, which was a Sunday morning. The organization we worked with (which I'll discuss more later) has churches come in to volunteer and "put on" each of their daily church-style services. These churches then provide a meal for the homeless clients. On this day, we determined that if the church was 45 minutes late, which they were, that they probably weren't coming. That meant our team was responsible for conducting the service and preparing the meal.

Rather than freak out about what to do, we let the students lead the ministry more this year. They performed some skits and shared testimonies, which were well received. Then, after 15 minutes of preparation, I delivered a 15 minute sermon. I've never had such an experience before. God used the thoughts from Job that I've been sharing on this blog to inspire a message from Job 26 about (get this!) trusting in who God is.

On these occasions, more than normal, I learned that God's nature alone is enough in which to place our trust. He is absolutely reliable, and he will always come through.

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