A few weeks ago we went to do a retreat at a school. It was a crazy day because our teammate’s host dad discovered the trailer was broken. It was Oliver’s day off and Jeremy was supposed to be helping with the retreat, but as the van and trailer man he had to help fix it. Since the guys couldn’t pick us up and we were running late, our host mom so generously offered to drive us to the retreat. Because we only had two of our men on retreat that day, Lydia had to take a small group of 6th grade boys.
While this may seem like a mess and not at all ideal… God knew what he was doing as always. Were these 6th grade boys weirded out to have a female small group leader? Were they closed off? Oh, no no.
When we asked who had the best small group leader before lunch you can bet those boys all leapt out of their chairs shouting “Lydia!” And every time Lydia walked up to the front, no matter what she was there to say, they would begin chanting her name enthusiastically. And when I asked if any of the youth wanted to fill out a form to share about their experience on the retreat, you best believe they all ran over to the table to fill out the forms.
One of the youth from her small group said, “It got me closer to God and it showed me how to love Him and hear His voice.”
Once again, God used what we seemed like a wrench in our plans for a beautiful purpose. If we hadn’t had the trailer break down in the morning, these youth wouldn’t have had Lydia as their small group leader, which clearly God wanted.
All we do is say yes to the little things God asks of us. Yes to speak kind words to the youth. Yes to go up and share our story. Yes to dress up in silly costumes and make a fool of ourselves. Yes to sing. And through these God does such amazing things. A few examples of the fruit of our work that God has allowed us to hear include:
“I can confidently say that I walked in here today not knowing God. I walked out with Him as my best friend. I loved this retreat, and from the first moment knew I wanted to join NET one day. I thank God for this experience.” – Emma, age 15
“I recently had a moment with God that has changed my life, with a whisper of hope.” – Nick, age 13
Keep saying yes to whatever God asks of you. Encountering God’s love is by nature incredibly powerful. You may not see the amazing impact of this love that you allow to pour through you, but I promise you when you let Him love in you, it changes lives.