As a missionary, most think that every encounter we have with a youth or in a ministry situation is life changing or extremely impactful. This is true in some cases, but usually we leave unsure of any affect made on the youth. A big part of our ministry is letting go and trusting that God will use us and work through us to reach his children. It is hard spending time pouring yourself out each day just to walk away and trust that there was a seed planted. Then just when we might be losing some steam to keep living this missionary life style, God proves his power and omnipotence to us. So here is one of those moments that we have experienced this year.
We were blessed to be doing many in person retreats our first semester and there was a moment when God created a wave to push us on. A retreat in St. Louis park, MN started and continued to be a “normal” retreat. We came in and set up, welcomed in the youth, and began sessions and small groups. I was sent up to the church during one of the small groups to clean up after having prayer ministry, a time we give the youth an opportunity to personally grow with God.
I was walking up towards the altar and to my left the janitor was sanitizing the pews. His name was Josh, he was about 26, and was hanging around all retreat. I started up a conversation with him and eventually he began to thank me for all that I do in this mission. He told me that when he was in 8th grade he went on a NET retreat and didn’t remember too much but recalled that God spoke to him personally and powerfully.
He said how before the retreat he was struggling a lot in his relationship with God and that he was having many doubts. Then went on to say that the seeds planted in him on that retreat settled deep. The seeds were hard to notice but eventually grew into a fruitful and strong relationship with God. He is discerning the priesthood now and found joy in being the janitor at the church because it was a place to be humble and serve. He continued to encourage me and the rest of the team in our ministry. No matter how hard it is to get to the youth or how tired we become this year, God will always work and is not limited by our humanness.
That experience with Josh gave me and our team a boost in ministry to trust that God can do anything. He only needs our yes. That when push comes to shove he will work no matter how much time it takes or how inspired we are in mission. Christ’s love can not be held back. like a dam being overflowed with water. The wall will begin to crack and break then shatter under the immense power. Same with the Lord’s love for us. Nothing can keep God from loving us and working in us if our mission is to say yes to him and be his instrument. He is never outdone in generosity. Never ceasing in love and power.
So, even when we are feeling at a low or lack confidence in the power of God he continues to reach out and touch hearts and bring them back to himself.