Chattanooga part 4 - sowing seeds and being surprised

June 29, 2018

Today we began the transition between mission trip and home. The dining hall started to close down, the schedule looked a little different, the work day was abbreviated, and the atmosphere of the camp was different. Everyone sensed that our time here was coming to an end. 

We still worked hard and got lots done. And once again these students impressed us all. They were determined and persistent and made a huge impact on the people and homes they came to serve.  

After lunch we descended on downtown Chattanooga for an epic scavenger hunt. Splitting into teams, we tore around the city taking pictures of everything along the way. We reconvened at a local pizza place to enjoy some much needed food and refreshment. 

The final night is a special one in big group. All the students get a chance to wash one another's feet, mirroring the humility and servitude of Jesus at the last supper (John 13). It's awkward, but necessarily so.  It carries profound meaning that only just begins to have an affect on the students but will perhaps be felt more deeply later down the road. 

And that's the long and short of all ministry to youth: you expose them to something deep and meaningful that pulls them out of their comfort zone and points them to something bigger themselves, and then you wait and you hope and you pray that those things are used by God in his good timing. Sometimes you don't see the fruit of the labor as much as you'd hope. But, as servants of Jesus we are simply called to be obedient and sow seeds of faith.  And then, quite often, you're caught off guard by how much is soaking into their hearts and minds - like, when one student, after years in ryeX, blurts out during a small group time that he realized for the first time that Jesus was a servant and that's why we serve. Or, when another decided a specific rap song would be better if Jesus was part of the refrain so screamed his name over the sound of the radio in just the right timing. Or when another prays a prayer that would make even the greatest of saints proud. 

Middle schoolers are incredible. And we're so grateful to be part of their lives and Faith formation. 

Thanks be to God.