Hello there my praying friends!
In case you didn't deduce from reading my recaps,
your prayers made a huge difference
in the Girls Extravaganza
So I have a new request for you!
(duck duck goose!)
This Sunday, March 11th our youth group will be traveling several hours to South Texas
to spend our spring break partnering with a church there, helping to spread the gospel through Backyard Bible Clubs, service projects, prayer walking and fellowship.
(students leading prayer)
We've participated in very similar programs the past two years through Mission Arlington, a wonderful organization who has intentionally created churches in apartments and mobile home parks all throughout the Dallas/Ft Worth area.
(Ninja. Best game ever.)
This year we're taking everything that we've learned through those experiences and putting it into action in a less saturated area. The area of Texas we're traveling to is high in Spanish speakers, which is great because the majority going on our trip are bilingual! In addition, this area is often overlooked by outreach or mission organizations because it is so close to the Mexico border. Most, instead, focus on Mexico.
(This little girl absolutely stole our hearts.)
To be completely honest, I've been giving in to
stress and anxiety this week as I've been preparing.
I don't like being flexible.
I like to have a plan, to be prepared, to have details set in place
(we didn't just meet children. Two teens accepted Christ this week as well, and they remain friends with my students.)
Y'all, my worry and anxiety is the opposite of faith.
So I'm praying for more faith.
Here are some things you can be praying for:
Our backyard bible club is outdoors, which is the simplest way to join everyone together. Rain would cause a serious problem for us!
-hearts open to the Truth
one of the biggest obstacles we've encountered is that people are blinded by the idea of religion, and so they miss Jesus.
We have a small team- six students, four adults, and four small children. Unity will be so important!
-that the Holy Spirit would go before us
without the Father's hand over this effort, this is all of our own power. We want all of the success to be from and glorifying to God!
-that our service projects would pan out
There are a few details about the trip, including where we'll be spending our afternoons, that are still up in the air. It's really hard for me to find balance between good planning and trusting.
-That as we return to Austin, we'll pray for and have faith that God will continue to send workers into this field
Last year one of our biggest struggles was that the students fell so deeply in love with the kids we met that leaving was devastating. There were tears and hurt feelings and frustrations. They felt that without our group there, the children would have no continued access to the gospel. So this year we're intentionally sharing follow up information with our partner church to ensure that this isn't an isolated gospel experience for them!
- for energy, boldness and above all, love
It's going to be a long week for everyone involved. We'll be sleeping on the floor, and sharing quarters with 4 children under 5 years old. We may find people challenging to work with. Without love, we'll only be a resounding gong or a clanging symbol as we speak the truth.
(as we were leaving an apartment complex, we witnessed a domestic disturbance and prayed powerfully over the situation)
We'll be returning to Austin Thursday evening and most of the students on the trip will immediately be going to a Disciple Now Weekend, hosted by a sister church. In fact, David and three of my students are leading worship for the weekend!
We are excited to see how God will reveal Himself this next week.
For those of you who made it through the whole post, thank you so very much!
I am deeply grateful for your encouragement and prayers.
(the favorite song at every location- Making Melodies!)
*all photos from previous spring break trips*