I have almost written this post several times now. Yet each time I pick up my computer I realize I just do not have the words to say to express what is on my heart. So here goes a choppy version of my past week and a half.
I discussed a little bit in church Sunday night about how much MFuge has impacted my life as a student. I have often put words around it like spiritual awakening, mission awareness, and commissioning to describe the three years I went. In Mobile I have ministered to a Boys & Girls club, to an individual home, and to the Light of the Village daycare center. God taught me what it means to give of myself and to allow Him to take care of the spiritual growth. Out of the trips I took, several of my friends that I served beside have taken it upon themselves to serve in Africa, in church nurseries, as youth leaders, and in the military. I recognize that we were privileged to go to MFuge and learn under a man who understands what it means to be missional and a servant of Christ. The memories from these camps will be with me forever.
Only God could have orchestrated what came next in my life. Through going to BCF and serving on staff at a local church I began to see where God’s Scripture comes alive when it talks about where much has been given, much is expected. Or in other places on stewardship and being faithful with smaller things and God will reward with much greater things. Then I read in the letters to Timothy the expectations of leaders and teachers and others who have responsibility over people. All of this overwhelmed me a little over a year and a half ago. All of a sudden I found myself as the leader of 20 or more students and had no clue what I was doing. Or so I thought. I was told by a professor just yesterday that God uses the chapters of our life to know how to continue writing each person’s story. Without realizing what I was doing, God gave me a plan for the ministry here at FBCMH. It was choppy at times, but it involved challenging students to rely on the Lord only for their direction in life. This is pretty easy to say but can be difficult to embody when factors come into play such as: teaching relationships with students, working with parents, garnering adult leaders, low budgets, a low-tech youth room, and being stuck in the middle of nowhere. God did not fail me tho. Students who had never been nor wanted to go on a discipleship summer camp found theirselves challenged and renewed at Super Summer 2K10. This led to an awesome year, from July to June, of Discipleship and Bible study and growing together in our relationship with Jesus. Something was missing tho and it was time that I asked God what the next move was.
He challenged me in mission work. Quite frankly, I learned through my quiet times and through different men of God that I was simply not making the difference that I should be making in God’s Kingdom. I tried to write it off by telling God that I was in school and did not have a lot of time on my hands to do that. He laughed… I guess so did I after I told Him that. What happened next was so cool. In September of last year when I was praying over where the students would be going to camp God reminded me that just because He is writing new chapters in my life does not mean that I can’t go back and reread some of my old chapters. I went to the drawing board, I wrote down all of the names of the students in the church, and then I prayed over each one asking God to reveal to me where their next step should be. That is when peace rushed over me. Knowing the parents of my students is to know that they are very cautious about where at and who with their child is going if they are going somewhere. When God put MFuge Mobile on my heart I realized immediately that my experience as a camper was the cure for all of my parent’s restless hearts. When asked about housing, finances, or even the track sites in the community I was able to boldly and confidently respond with a detailed answer. The only thing I did not know was how my students were going to react. Their first thoughts were to go back to Super Summer. Parents were even expecting me back to take the same place. I did lose a couple students along the way, but as a whole the youth group bought into it and we started preparing for what would be ahead.
What I could not expect was God challenging my heart even further. He put on my heart to take part in His mission around the world. I said ok, but told Him that He needed to provide a way. God did and you can read about that journey from earlier blog posts. When I returned to Mossy Head I had a week to prepare and then the next week would be camp. Well Sunday night was our testimony night and it was simply incredible to see the Holy Spirit moving and working in the lives of His students. In the time that I was gone to India, Jesus moved in the hearts of about 5 or 6 students. Their first big testing on their reliance on God was at MFuge and through serving others. How awesome is that!
I put as my title, “Coming full circle,” because I was given the privilege not only to take part in MFuge as a camper but as a leader as well. I thought the spiritual high of my life was three years ago at camp; but nothing and no one except God could have prepared me for the elation that comes with hearing the testimonies of students that I have prayed over for 2 years about how God moved in their hearts this past week. I saw and heard about students sharing their faith this week to children and other students their own age. I saw 500 students not care about their reputation or whether they looked goofy when they worshipped. Instead they acted naturally based on the convictions in their heart. I also saw students frantically writing outlines and notes in their notebooks of what God was showing them through the sermons. And then I was also able to lead the discussion through church group time as we all reflected on our day.
You see I came full circle in my experiences with MFuge. What I have come to learn tho is God began that circle and God is the one who directed me the whole way back to Himself. Most students who have been to MFuge and graduated high school never have a chance to go back. God provided the means not only for me to return but to return with a group of friends. Dear Christian brothers and sisters, when you look on your life do you see your accomplishments? Or are you humble enough to see and take part in what God has desired all along. Just curious