I have been going on these youth mission trips for three years now.. I know what to expect..I know that these trips will effect me...I know that I will come home stretched, expanded, and stronger in my faith... I know it but it never ceases to amaze me when I experience it again!!
Each Thursday night of our mission week, we have a special service. We look at the scripture in John 13 where Jesus washes his disciples feet..Then, we wash the feet of our teens, wrap our arms around them, and pray specifically for God to continue to build up their faith and use them to further His kingdom. I've done it before.. I have held these teens in prayer all year. I know them-their struggles, victories, worries, concerns. I watch them all year as they question, study, and grow. I think I know how they will be as a result of this week-how they will respond and what their reaction will be..or so I think.
I went to wash the feet of one of my teen boys who was broken in tears before the Lord. He was crying so heavily that it was difficult for me to get through prayer for him. He was sobbing in my shoulder as I wrapped my arms around him and prayed for his faith to increase and for God to continue to use him. I finished washing his feet and returned to my place in the circle and entered into prayer myself. I continued to hear the young man cry-looking up from my prayer I saw another one of our boys embracing the first and praying intently for him. Soon after, all of our boys moved around this young man and initiated a group prayer session right there all on their own!! I was moved to uncontrollable tears myself!!
These teens get it.. They are living out lives of radical faith that put me to shame at times. So what where they praying for??...The boys were praying about starting a ministry in the high school to reach other young men who don't know Christ..They are so burdened for those in their high school who don't know our Savior. They were in tears before the Lord because there are so many who don't know Him!!
What a challenge for me! It leads me to ask myself...Am I so broken for the lost? Have I shed tears for those who don't know Him? What am I doing personally to reach those who haven't heard the gospel??
I am so thankful God has given me these teens for this season in my life. What an immeasurable blessing they are.. I am praying that God continues to allow me to be a part of these teens lives and that they continue to be an example and a challenge to me.