What a trip.
When you bring a group of high schoolers across the country to an unfamiliar place with the sole purpose of serving: special things happen.
The Spokane Mission Trip was this sort of trip.
Our students broke up into four groups in order to serve different areas of the Spokane community. One group spent the entire week painting a house for unwed teen moms through YoungLives. Another group led a Vacation Bible School in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Washington. Another spent time working with the kids of refugees.
The groups came back each evening with stories of their day. And do you know what every story had in common?
Every story shared about how God was at work in Spokane.
It became clear to our students that God works in partnership with us to share his message of love. The students of PCPC volunteered a week of their summer to partner with God. The results were incredible.
The most special evening of the trip was Thursday night.
Our group had worked all day and then sped over to the Union Gospel Mission to lead a worship service for the homeless community. About 100 homeless men showed up for worship that night.
Our students took turns sharing their faith stories, reading Scripture, and praying. One student shared about his own struggles with drugs and alcohol before truly giving his heart to God. Another spoke about the inward journey that God had been doing in her life over the past year.
Afterwards we talked with some of the men from the shelter. One man approached me and said “When I heard that youth were going to lead the service, I almost skipped. I am so glad I didn’t. Their testimonies were authentic and moving. They are a reminder for me of who God wants me to be.”
This trip reminded me so much of our reading from the chapter “New Beginnings.” This chapter in the Story Bible focuses on how the disciples responded to Jesus’ resurrection. God’s Spirit is given to them, empowering them to go and make disciples of all nations.
And they do.
They go and they preach and they heal and they baptize- all in the name of Jesus.
The early church is a reminder to me of what God is capable of when we choose to trust fully in Him.
At one point in this story the Pharisees are trying to determine how to stop the movement of The Way (this is what Jesus’ disciples called themselves). They bring in Peter and another disciple in order to question them. Gamaliel, one of the Pharisees’ most respected leaders, stands up in the middle of the meeting and proposes a solution. He says…
“Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
God empowers us with what we need to do His work. On this mission trip, it felt like God was empowering our team with exactly what we needed to bring about the gospel message.
May God empower you so that you may work alongside Him as well.