Last night I was hoping to talk with my girls about struggles in their lives. The evening message was about being vulnerable in community and was really good. The first half of our Chat Room we talked about emotions (something else the speaker mentioned). We had some great discussion and one of the girls really got the idea that it does not matter what or how many bad things a person has done, that they are declared righteous by their faith.
Somehow there was a natural break halfway through, and I felt like I lost them. They got rowdy and could not get back on track. We laughed a lot but eventually I sent them to bed.
I do not mind them having fun, but at the same time there is so much growth and depth that I feel like they will miss if we do not get the chance to talk about deeper things. Pray that we will get there when the time is right, and that I will have the discernment to know when to lead the discussion that way. I certainly do not want to rush things, but also do not want to miss the window of opportunity.
This morning during our staff meeting, one of the other Orlando leaders shared a story of how God is working in the guys' hearts. One guy in particular, one of the student leaders, was struggling with something pretty big and it was weighing heavily upon his heart. The leader could see on his countenance that somethings was going on inside so he asked. When the boy finally opened up, he just started crying - hardcore crying. The Orlando leader did not say much more before his buddies started rallying around him, hugging on him and supporting him. Eventually, other Orlando guys heard about this guy struggling and they ran to the room to support him. So picture all these young men, all of them crying for their brother, hugging him, supporting him, and encouraging him.
I love to hear stories like that, to hear how God is working in the hearts of guys, raising them up to be men of God.
I also want to share a story about another guy with whom God has blown me away. I met him through our seminar times (he is actually from Chattanooga). The topic of our seminar has been teaching students to reach out to groups on their campuses and to disciple others. The one guy really cares about the lost at his campus. He prayed for our table in regards to reaching out to others and his heart really shone through. He had scripture hidden in his heart that came out in his prayer along with his compassion for his fellow classmates. He asked questions about strategies and such. It was really refreshing to me to hear these teenagers filled with such compassion like Jesus and wondering how and planning even to reach his campus. He and another guy at the table want to go to Venezuela this summer on a mission trip. I think this trip would be great for them - great experience and especially great training and equipping for returning to their schools in the fall with the intent to reach their campus. The only thing that stands in their way is $3000 that they (collectively) need to raise in order to go on the trip. So pray for God to provide financial partners for Jack and Trent to be able to go on this mission trip.