Summer happenings are in full swing at Youth For Christ. I am so happy I decided to intern for the summer and really invest relationally in the lives of my Jefferson kids. The ministry so far has been above and beyond what I expected it to be, which makes me a little ashamed because again and again God proves to be bigger than the box I try to keep him in.
My goal was to have 6 regular students to mentor, students serious about discipleship and learning about Christ. I have been blessed to have 12 kids, all who are serious about growing. Of course, we've had lots of fun times too, and so much more fun stuff planned thanks to the overwhelming generosity of others.
Today was an up and down day ministry-wise. It started out with heartbreaking news. I picked up three of my kids bright and early, and I could tell by the look on their faces something was wrong. One of them said that they had bad news. They are moving, and soon. The news caught me off guard, as these three students have been some of my most committed, and I have been so excited about how God was going to use them as student leaders this year.
Two of these students (they are cousins) recently moved to Fresno from Mexico, so it has been such a joy not only teaching them about Christ but also helping them learn english and have many American firsts. A few weeks ago I took them to their first baseball game, and today one of them had his first hamburger! Although I know I will still see them occassionally, it breaks my heart that I do not get to continue on with them on a day to day basis. I can only pray that the seeds that have been planted will take root, and that God will send others along the way to water them and help them grow.
One of my friends that is very involved in ministry but more in suburban areas got a peak into the ministry going on in downtown Fresno. He descibed it as "ministry, but dirty." Hmmm...that kind of sums it up I guess. The situations we see, the conflicts we deal with, the family lives, and just the neighborhoods themselves can be described as "dirty," but that just makes it so much more powerful when we see the love of Christ purify and cleanse hearts and homes.
I have been doing this "dirty ministry" for almost eight years now. Thinking back to all the communities I have worked in and people who have entered in and the out of my life it makes me realize how much they have taught me and shaped me. Hopefully one day in Heaven I will see all their faces and be able to tell them thank you.
I am truly blessed.