Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teens on a Mission: Philadelphia

Hey everyone!  I've been so caught up in my own busy days that I haven't sat down to write in ages.  This year has been incredible.  I've wrestled a little with what to share and what not to share, because so much of the story is not only mine, so I've been living it and not writing it.  But I've missed being here in this space with you all, so I'm excited to be back!

Sunday at 4 a.m. (yes, that's right) we woke up to drive four of our teenagers to church, where they were meeting the teens in Thrive Student Ministries at Bangor Baptist to depart bright and early for a week in Philadelphia doing missions work.  It's been an amazing process, because the trip required each teen to raise $800, and that amount seemed incomprehensible sometimes (x4!), but the Lord, in His perfect faithfulness, provided.  (Here's a photo from 4a.m. - Kanishko snuck out of the shot, but here's my hubby with the girls!)

The teens will be working in the city all week, and they took a prayer tour yesterday - here's a photo of the skyline from their last stop.  They also sat together under an overpass where, each night, homeless people gather to sleep, and they saw shoes hanging from electrical wires over the streets and learned that this usually is in memory of a child who died from gang violence or drugs.

Before heading out each morning, they gather to read the Bible and have some prayer.  Today, their reading is from Matthew9: 35-38 "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" 

Today, I'm praying that each of the teens on this trip will be broken by the same things that break the heart of Jesus, and I'm asking that as the Lord will take those broken pieces and put them back together in the shape of his perfect will for each of their lives, that he will form in them hearts that hear His voice and are willing to walk in uncomfortable places, just like Jesus did when he put on human skin and walked on this earth.  I'm asking the Lord to speak into each life how He desires to use the gifts and talents knit into each teenager for His glory and for the good of others.  I'm asking God to take this week and fill each moment with His presence, and I ask He would grow each of these students into young adults who chase hard after the heart of Christ in the hurting parts of our world and that "his harvest field" would have some lifelong workers in these students.  

If you'd like to pray for these kids and for Philadelphia with me, please do!  And if you'd like to leave your thoughts or prayers in the "comments," I'll be sure the kids see them when they get home.  Thanks friends!