For those of you who don’t know, I had the amazing privilege of working for an organization called YouthWorks (www.youthworks.com) the past two summers. The mission of YouthWorks is to provide life-changing, Christ-centered mission trips for middle and high school students. For those two summers, (the first in Niagara Falls, NY, and the second in Beckley, WV), I watched as teens and pre-teens were challenged to become more like Christ.
YouthWorks is a whirlwind experience as multiple churches descend upon you for five days and enter into an intense week of service and relationship-building. You would be amazed how much you can get to know people in just 5 days. The body of Christ extends so much farther than our particular churches or denominations, county or state lines, cultures or experiences.
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you
were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is
over all and through all and in all.” -Ephesians 4:4-5
As my journey to Africa began to unfold, I reached out to some of these churches to see if they would be interested in partnering in ministry with me. And this past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to go to Williamsburg, VA, to a church that had brought their youth group to WV last summer.
As a first speaking engagement about Kenya, I have to admit, I was quite nervous. I wanted to be transparent and to inspire. I wanted to make new friendships while renewing previous ones. And most importantly, I wanted God, the God of Williamsburg and of Beckley and of Korr, Kenya, to be at the forefront.
I was graciously welcomed by many folks who likely had never even heard of Newark, DE, before I arrived. They listened with attentive ears and hearts, asking thoughtful questions and engaging me in dialogue about Kenya, which had now become important to them as well. And after I spoke, many came up to me with the most sincere expressions of encouragement. It cannot quickly be forgotten when someone looks you so genuinely in the eyes, giving their word that they will be in prayer.
When people come together with the intent of seeing God’s name be magnified, powerful things can happen.
May God’s name be praised.