Often times in ministry you pour your heart out and know that you need to be ministered to, but you do not realize how much. One thing that I love about being at camp is the community that occurs. There is a love that surrounds you that is really overwhelming. As I got to know some of the people in my ministry track, I felt that love. I really connected with Becky who took the time to listen to me. We shared experiences we have had over the years and how God has grown us through them. Belinda and her connected greatly as well. I hope someday we can meet again because I truly want to meet her family. She had incredible parents who were in the ministry and they themselves have left and amazing legacy. I also connected with a young man named Shaun who is a student at Liberty. God is doing an amazing work in this man and his future has unlimited potentials. I am committing to pray for his family as he seeks opportunities to minister to them.
I walked away from this week just blown away by how these two listened to me and opened up themselves. The community there was simply amazing. While I experience that here at home, if I am honest it is not to that extent. For one I spend most of my time with teenagers instead of adults. The other is because I do have great trust issues from the times that I have been hurt over the years. I will always look back at this week and be thankful for how these two ministered greatly to me.
Then on the last day at ministry site my group went to an apartment complex that we had been to previously in the week. Same routine as before, play frisbee and other games with the kids and show them love. Later in the day this one girl wanted to blow bubbles and so I held a styrofoam cup filled with bubbles for her to dip her wand in. For most kids blowing bubbles lasted about 5 minutes. This little girl blew bubbles for about 45 minutes! She drug me around the entire playground blowing bubbles at people and laughing every time. Then at one point she said something to the effect "That guy is going to get me" and she latched on to me. She literally wrapped her little arms around of my legs and clung tightly to me for at least 15 minutes. She would not leave my side and wanted to be close to me. There are not many kids that have really captured my heart. I do not put myself out there when it comes to little kids, though I am not sure why. My nephew Noah who is 9 years old is someone who I have really connected with in his life and I have a love for him that I cannot even put into words. However, this little girl named Ava captured my heart in a way that I am simply blown away by. I cannot even think about her without wondering what kind of life she has, how her home life is, or if even both parents are in the picture. I would have brought this little girl home with me if I could, and that is saying a lot. She melted my heart. The only thing I know to do now is to pray for her and her family. I am praying that she experiences the love at home that she deserves. I am praying that her family are Christ followers, and that if not that through this summer they will be ministered to by the Mfuge groups that will be going there and that they will come to know Christ so that they too can lead her to know Him. Just look at these pictures and tell me she doesn't melt your heart too!
As for Belinda and I, I feel so much closer to her. We never felt distant at all, but my love for her has increased tremendously. The Monday we left is the 3 year anniversary of her father's death. As tough as that day is, I am so proud of the healing that has taken place in her. God worked in her this week in a tremendous way. I plan on sharing soon some of the things we have learned in the last three years. I am thankful that she was able to go with us and the ways that God used her to minister while there. I am thankful for all the ways that God worked in me and could share even more so how I have been impacted. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this incredible student ministry and look forward to the ways that He continues to work in us. These students made for an incredible week, and as I have not been around them as much since coming back, I miss them greatly and look forward to spending more time with them soon!