linkin up with Kerrie at The Williams Post!
Over spring break, I led a team of high school students and some helpers on a mission trip to the Edinburg/McAllen/Mission, Texas area. We partnered with Faith Baptist Church there and devoted our mornings to Backyard Bible Clubs and our afternoons to serving our host church.
The past two years, we've participated in Mission Arlington's spring break activities. It's an awesome organization that has made a huge impact on the DFW area. Their backyard Bible club program is called Rainbow Express, and we'd have between twenty and fifty children at our Rainbow Express twice a day. They target apartment complexes and mobile home parks, making it simple to reach a large number of families and children in a small area. The two years we participated, the children we met were so happy to see us and participate in Rainbow Express. We were overjoyed to be used to lead multiple children to Christ. Last year my students became so attached to the children we met that it was truly painful to come home at the end of the week.
So that is kinda what we were expecting to happen here.
Spoiler alert- that's not how it went.
I had five amazing students take part in this trip.
At first I was disappointed, even angry, that others had dropped out or decided to spend their time doing something less meaningful (in my mind).
However, this small group of students was absolutely perfect for the week.
It was absolutely a testament of God's control over the entire situation to see how everything worked out the way He had planned.
This was the first youth trip I've ever led with zero behavior issues.
Each student worked hard, stayed positive,
and was respectful and obedient to myself and the other leaders with us.
I was humbled by their leadership and the initiative they took
in serving each other and the community we were in.
When we arrived at the church,
We were assigned to a nearby park
to do our backyard Bible club.
We made a huge advertising promotion in chalk by the park entrance
canvased over 100 homes
and knocked on nearly every door in the neighborhood
to let them know about Rainbow Express
But our first day there,
we had no kids show up.
People were polite but uninterested
So we prayer walked the area,
covering the neighborhood in specific and meaningful prayer
In the midst of prayer walking,
we came across a group of people passing out the gospel to every door
and a mobile vacation bible school ministry
It was so encouraging to see God using all kinds of people
to reach this community with the good news!
We also met a sweet East Indian family going for a walk.
They joined us back at the park and we were able to share
our Bible story with them and color some pictures.
They were so genuinely interested in the story from Mark 2 of the paralytic
man whose friends lowered him through the roof to Jesus!
Our guys met a high school student playing basketball alone the park
and were able to interact with and pray over him.
We had better response the following days
and were able to
sing silly songs
play lots of kickball
eat snacks together
color with crayons and chalk
and share beautiful stories about Jesus
We only met about ten children over the course of the week and
we didn't get to see any children come to know Jesus
we learned that sometimes God calls you to just plant seeds
Sometimes you just show people how awesome Jesus is
and God sends someone else to continue to teach them
We're so grateful that we got to share with
Eric, Adi, Gopika, Davika, Lucia, Jayne, Joey, Nathan and Noah!
But we know that God loves each of them so much more deeply than we ever could
and have faith that He will continue to show them love.
During our Bible study Wednedsday night, our associate pastor shared 1 Corinthians 15:58 which says that the work we do in the name of the Lord is never in vain.
We're clinging to that promise,
grateful to have planted seeds
praying for water and sunshine and harvesters
and most of all for Jesus to reach this community!
Be encouraged wherever you are,
whatever it is that you are doing and know
that even when things don't meet our expectations-
God does not measure success by numbers
and His plans are so much better than our own.
Continue to give yourself fully to the work of the Lord
because it's never in vain!
Stay tuned to hear more of what God taught us!