Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Brief Update From Pass Christian...

Hey Everyone!!!

I don't get to shower much…
We live in the library...without air conditioning.
The summer heat is progressively getting worse…and we are roofing…

But MAN am I enjoying every minute of what God has me doing in Pass Christian, Mississippi !!!

I am going to admit, the days are long and the labor is tiring. I believe I knew that coming into this. What I didn't know about Summer Project was the intensity of it all. From the day I arrived two weeks ago I have been working. The 14 of us staff folk spent the first week preparing for all the students to arrive. We showed up to a library full of books and rooms that could not comfortably sleep the 43 students who were coming soon after us. But we tore down and we built up. We were able to construct 18 bunk beds in two days, build shelves for the rooms, take out all the books and the pallets that were holding them, and put together little quadrants of couches and chairs with decorations in order to make this whole place feel like home. And this was only the beginning.

The students arrived last Sunday and the intensity picked up. We now had people we were responsible for. The pressure of giving them a summer they would never forget began to become a reality. It is one that I am excited to try and provide. In the week they have been here we have sent them on a GPS scavenger hunt around town, worked with them doing construction, served in God's Katrina Kitchen (the place we eat at everyday that serves food to the entire community), prepared for the Vacation Bible School that we are going to have for kids in Pass Christian, and most importantly we have begun their spiritual development by getting to the heart of the Gospel, challenging them with the reality of Christ and seeking their growth as His disciples.

I have a small group of three young men that I lead—Brian, Jeff, and TJ. They are from different areas of the country, coming in with different personalities and perspectives. We have formally met two times as we have begun to study 1 John, a book that hits home the foundations of the Christian faith and the essence of true love. This is the first time I have ever really had the responsibility of "officially" helping people grow in their faith, and I feel absolutely inadequate and unprepared. Though I am on staff with Crusade, I know God has much to teach me in my life. But in these days, in my inadequacy, I am left with nothing but an utter dependence on the Holy Spirit for guidance and truth. God is the one who teaches; He is the one who touches hearts. I am simply His vessel. In these six weeks I have a very unique opportunity to impact Brian, Jeff, and TJ in a small way that will help them for a lifetime of ministry, whether it be full-time like me or in the workplace. For that I am thankful and very excited to be a part of their lives.

With all the words I have typed, none of them and none more can describe all that is happening here—in the community, in the students' lives, and in my heart. I ask for your prayers of strength and perseverance for us all. Please pray that we have compassion on this community and love with the heart of Christ. Pray for our growth and maturity in Christ as we seek to further develop a perspective that is eternal.

I am going to end this with a few verses from Scripture that have spoken volumes to me during these weeks. I hope they touch you in some way too:

For as high as the heaves are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them. (Psalm 103:11-17)

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though or outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory, far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, bt at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:20 PM

    Dude- sounds like everything is going to plan- very awesome stuff. I'll pray that you will be encouraged with your small group. Those guys are lucky to have someone who holds the Word up very highly.