Hey there, wonderful readers!
We have officially reached our day five marker and are two cities down on our Love Out Loud tour! For those of you who don’t know, the school that I have been going to (Horizon School of Evangelism) just embarked on our three week mission trip. We’ve got 90 of us packed into two charter buses, a truck, an expedition, and a 15 passenger van heading up the west coast to Seattle and back and stopping in eight cities. Our intention is for us to have known God’s love, to have grown in God’s love, and to be able to continuously show God’s love! WHEW! And, of course, these things are ALWAYS evolving! Which is such a beautiful and incredible thing about a relationship with Christ.
I started off super excited about this trip-after all, I love people, I love traveling, I love the west coast, and I love what the Lord has been doing in my heart over the past few months. Well, quicly into the trip I felt a little overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility I felt I was taking on. More on that in a minute. Our first stop was in Montebello-we got to stay at Calvary Chapel Montebello and sleep on the church youth area’s floors, use a neighboring home’s showers, and enjoy their wonderful facilities! We did different outreaches in the community–cleaned the park (and people got to engage in some amazing conversations), worked around the church (a blessing since one of their maintanence men is leaving soon), and took a trip down to Skid Row (where one of my friend’s heart was completely changed and God gave her a tenderness, compassion, and love for the homeless). After a few days there, we were off to Sacramento! Here, we’ve been able to enjoy a Holy Spirit-filled evening at the church with prayer and worship (really incredible–the Lord has always seemed to speak through me through watching others worship. It’s so beautiful!*). Monday, we had a day of reflection-which involved some much needed along time with the Man Upstairs! Then, I was blessed with my sister’s presence! I seriously love that girl so much. I got the butterflies when I saw her in the parking lot 🙂 She drove an hour and forty five minutes from San Francisco just to spend a few chaotic hours with me (one in the parking lot, two she had to go run errands while I had a meeting, two more hanging out with me and meeting all my fun friends here on the trip with me, two more at a church service/seminar on the Love out Loud tour, and I kept her around for another hour before she finally escaped). It meant so much for her to come up and spend time with me here! But, it was part of where my bad thoughts towards the tour came in and my sense of feeling overwhelmed. I really just wanted to spend time with her and had been called into other meetings and had other things on my mind–but thankfully, my leader Amanda saw that-and excused me from the meeting just so I could have some quality time with Becca! So, it all worked out–and my heart has changed once again in my approach to this crazy tour! I am excited to be going around and sharing the love of Christ in unique and random ways. And I am grateful for the position of leadership He has given me.
So, tonight was pretty chaotic. We ended up with half of us (45 that is) at a Boys and Girls Club. Two clubs had combined so we could come spend time with them–and somehow they’re numbers ended up practically double what we had anticipated! There were forty hungry high schoolers when we arrived (along with another eighty students under the age of twelve)–and about 20 of us to entertain them-some more intimidated than others! My t”eacher presence” has definitely diminished over the last few months, but it was awesome getting to hang out with them, participate in some games, eat some pizza, and then play them in basketball! However, I came home feeling like I had kinda missed out. I was so worried about things going smoothly (and that, they didn’t–pizzas late, poor communication about the supplies needed for games, much more students than expected, more traffic that anticipated, etc.) that it was difficult to really sit and enjoy the moment. Or so I thought. But, upon thinking about tonight, I was so blessed. I got to hear several stories about how the Lord used people from our team in that Club tonight (one woman led a man to Christ, another had an employee chase her down to ask her to pray for him, and yet another truly got to share Christ’s love and acceptance with a little girl who truly understood it). I also got to spend an hour playing ball with kids from all ages. I pulled two of the teenage boys aside afterwards. I was so impressed with how they interacted with the younger kids, engaged the younger kids, included the other kids, etc. I wanted to make sure they knew they were having an impact. I’ll be praying for Eric and Isaac.
So, despite all of my worrying–guess what?! It didn’t matter! I was reminded once again, “Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus” (I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes). He is consistently and gently reminding me, it is not about me. It’s not about how I want things to go, how organized I am, how productive I am–it’s about Him getting all the glory. Really, all He wants us to do is come and see. So, that’s my request, Lord-that I would be willing to let all my plans go and just come and see. Come and see all it is that you have to show me-and not let it be limited by my own expectations. Because, I know Yours are exceedingly, abundantly more!
So, if you want to know more about the tour-check out their blog at www.loveoutloudtour.com
*I remember the first thing that inclined me to Jesus was watching people at the church my family would go to on Christmas and Easter sing the songs. I would look around and realize the people actually believed what they were seeing…and I desperately wanted that.
**I have a special memory of Kisha the week before she died. She was listening to the radio and began singing along to a Christian song that was one-but accidentally started singing the wrong verse and laughed at herself. She had gone through a period of time where she was really turned off to God (a lot of my fault, but thankfully the Lord works regardless of us!)–this was just a small part of how God showed me she had turned back to Him before she went to join Him for eternity
***There always seems to be a song that plays on repeat in my head and it’s so wonderful to be ministered to through the words of a song. Currently, I have LOVED the song ‘Sweetly Broken’….brings chills to my spine!