I didn’t post anything yesterday because it didn’t go as I wished and I was pretty discouraged, but it wasn’t the end of the story.
Yesterday started with worship and teaching, then our first project was packing meals for Eight Days of Hope volunteers that would be rebuilding the city. We packed 3,200 meals in a little under an hour.
Last night was our outreach at Strawberry Park where we had games, food, drama, and evangelism teams. I didn’t know how it was going to look, but I went expecting God to show up, and He did. But I was watching kids on the inflatables while everyone was having these amazing conversations. I had got so many promises that I would spread the Gospel in a way uniquely my flavor, but I left feeling empty-handed.
When we got back the guy I’m sharing a room with and I were pretty hungry, so we walked to the only food place within walking distance, Taco Cabana. As we were waiting for our food to be brought out, I felt God highlighting a man sitting with his young daughter in the corner. I wasn’t sure on any particular word for him, but I walked over there and offered to pray for him. He declined, but on his way out he said “thanks again”. It seems like the offer at least meant something to him, and I can only leave it to the Holy Spirit to finish the rest of that story.
This morning we had worship and teaching again, and I still can’t explain what happened, but I was just very encouraged and was reminded of God’s love in these moments. I was reminded that the work of the Holy Spirit is larger than I can see, and I need to just follow even when it seems pointless and doesn’t make sense. Praise God for leaders that are spiritually and emotionally aware enough to know not everyone is having the same experience, and that protect our hearts through that. I received a word/picture from someone else on the team where I’ve typed out my testimony and everything I’ve experienced in God. Then there’s these words of what others have experienced floating around the page (healing, friendliness, and some others I can’t remember) and as I drag these onto the page, spaces open up as God provides sentences for them in my story. There’s always more of God to step into.
I went with two other guys (Cameron and Eric B.) to pick up the 1,000 water bottles from the church office to pass out at the beach. I think that 45 minute drive will be one of my best memories. I’ve loved meeting the folks from Waco and we mesh instantly because we’re one big family and maintain the same culture despite our geographic distance. On the way there we joked about how Cameron was given the keys to the truck and we had no idea who it belonged to. If we got pulled over, there was no explaining that one.
When we got to the beach, it wasn’t long before I ran into my friend Stephanie who I met through my roommate when she was in Fort Collins in January. We had a good time catching up and taking about what God’s been up to. She lives in Galveston and is transitioning from Antioch Houston to Antioch Galveston.
We started with a worship song on the beach, then headed our own ways to distribute water bottles. I spent some time walking the beach by myself waiting for God to highlight someone for me to talk to, but didn’t get anything.
I thought maybe if Stephanie and I teamed up we would be more outgoing or find some divine appointment, but nope, she’s an introvert too and wasn’t getting anything. I felt like I got a picture of a cookie the night before, so I kept it in mind, but didn’t see anything. So I left tonight with results similar to last night. But this time I felt peace and clarity about the whole thing. I felt like I answered some important questions and my faith had been purified by fire. Will I continue to be faithful and step into His promises even when I don’t see the fruit personally? Will I live on mission in every circumstance, no matter where God sends me? Will I celebrate as the Kingdom advances even when I don’t see how I had a part in it? Yes, Jesus is worth it.
We got box lunches as we got on the bus headed back, and there was a cookie in there. A sweet reminder from Jesus that I’m where He wants me.