Wow! What an amazing week at Contact! There has been so much going on that I haven't even had time to blog lately. The kids get out of school June 2nd, so we are busy planning our summer camps, activities, small groups, & various house studies. God is blessing the work at Contact tremendously!
Our staff was blessed by an opportunity to have lunch with Park Plaza's staff, as well as a few others, including a group from Little Rock Arkansas & the McMillon family from the Memorial Road Church of Christ. I was so encouraged by the excitement everyone brought to our Church! I was blessed to grow up at Park Plaza with many examples of how to do ministry. Park Plaza has supported me every time I step out into the mission field regardless of where it is. I could never thank them enough for gambling on me & trusting that God would be at work in spite of my faults.
After our staff meeting I had a small group Bible study with one of my girls. We are reading the book "A Search for Significance." I have been so inspired by the depth of insight that our girls have into a relationship with God. They truly do convict me & teach me new lessons every day. Today I was studying with one of my fourteen year old girls. Ron talks a lot to people about how our kids walk around with boxing gloves. They are so hard-hearted & always ready to fight simply because they have seen things in this life that we could never even imagine. This fourteen year old has the biggest gloves i've ever seen! She can't admit that there are things in her life that hurt her so instead she emotionally shuts down & becomes bitter & angry! We talked today about how being who God wants us to be requires not being angry, but instead expressing our emotions in a healthy way. I asked her what she hates the most about her life. She replied, "Kayla, I don't even have a bed to sleep in at night! I sleep on the floor with a sheet! I hate it!" I can't imagine how difficult it must be to not even know where you are going to sleep at night. It has to be so painful to have no stability whatsoever.
As the night went on we discussed who God is calling us to be & how to get closer to Him. I asked her to pray over us. She prayed "Lord, help us to reach out to hurting hearts & help us to stop looking for people to brag on us! We want to let you brag on us!" What a beautiful reminder that we are not to be of this world, but simply in this world. Too often we make stupid decisions because we are looking for the approval of those around us, rather then our Lord. From this day forward my prayer will be that God teaches us to allow Him to brag on us & that we will not search for anyone's approval but His. Her prayer convicted me to the core! There have been so many times in the last year that I have asked myself if I am really accomplishing anything with this young woman? But days like today remind me that life isn't a snapshot. I cannot decide that one failure gives me the right to walk away. God starts over with me daily & I have to start over with my kids. He is doing amazing work in the life of this young woman. Boxing gloves & all, the ability to love him & love others is still in her. She has an ability to lead that far exceeds any ability i've ever dreamed of having. These mountains of success are such a recognition that He is at work in every opportunity He gives us. It is such a blessing to watch as He changes hearts & allows us to have relationships with hurting people.
Today I was asked why I love my job so much. There are so many things I love about Contact. There is not enough room in any blog to fully describe the way my life has been changed forever through working at Contact. However, what I love about Contact the most is that I am given the opportunity to love the kids where they are at, not where I want them to be. Most often when I begin working with the kids I want more for their lives then they want for their own. As time goes on I am able to watch as their plans for their lives become His plans & because they are His plans they begin to want something better. It truly is life changing!
Thank you again for all your love & support! I appreciate so much everyone's interest in what God is doing at Contact! It is an exciting time in the ministry He is doing here. We are a blessed staff & a blessed congregation!
"If you do good people will accuse you of having selfish ulterior motives...DO GOOD ANYWAY!"
Ephesians 1:11-12 "It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone."