Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Third Year Swimmin' With the GUPY's

My summer interns arrived on Sunday night, and have already blessed me and Diane with their love and their enthusiasm to be here. I think that each of them feels called by the Lord to be here this summer, though they may not know why they’ve been called. They are asking excellent questions, and seem to really want to know the in’s and out’s of the city, and are eager to engage one another as well. One of the students is from Greensboro (well, the past 6 years) and it is really surprising her to discover a side of the city that she has never seen before. Another student attends our church when in school, and is noticing things that she hadn’t before in her drives into town.

This week in our devotionals and group Bible study time, we are looking at our identity in Christ. Not surprising, given my last 8 months of study on the subject, and it is great to watch the different responses and struggles with the materials. God is really at work in their hearts, and I believe is laying the only sure foundation for ministry – Christ in us, the hope of Glory.

During the morning we are helping with Vacation Bible School at my church, as over 1/3 of the 180 kids attending are from Glenwood. As I have reconnected with the kids from my neighborhood, I am reminded of how much I love them, how much I miss some who have moved to another part of the city, and how chaotic some of their lives are when they go home. It’s easy to go through the motions of VBS and just get them through the week, but today the Lord gave me a gift of being able to sit down with a Brother from church and pray in the sanctuary for the kids. Going through the motions is self-protective; it keeps me from being disappointed because I don’t hope and I don’t give my heart too deeply. But most of all it leads me to believe the lie that this is merely a week of VBS, a four-hour distraction, and God can’t do anything in these rough home-life situations.

But prayer is a sounding of hope’s trumpet, a declaration of faith that says there are seeds being sown, the Word is going forth, and the destiny of these kids is not settled. There IS a God who loves Him – my church is proof of that as we, His body, go out and pick kids up each morning, and as we, His body, teach them that Jesus is our friend and Jesus is life. Prayer is a reminder to me that God IS at work, even when we go through the motions, and that we always have hope because we always have the Lord.

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