I have been so blessed this week to be able to see God’s hand at work in the city of Gainesville. This week has been productive and encouraging despite the busyness. I can definitely reiterate what the Columbian team has been posting, that prayer is key to accomplishing this work. God has been convicting me of my need for prayer a lot this past semester and it is cool to see it at work this summer.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with the seeming impossibility of the task before me. The mission project that we are planning is a really cool idea, but implementing it is proving to be a challenge. We are trying to get churches in the area to join with us in the project, but we are finding out how hard it is to get people interested and committed. We have gotten to meet with several mission pastors and they have been able to give us some good advice on how to get churches interested. We also “just happened” to run into a youth pastor that we had emailed about the project and he is showing interest in participating. It is moments like that, when I realize how only God can orchestrate this whole project, and how it is only through prayer that we are going to get anything accomplished. Please pray for this mission project that churches will actually read their emails and will show interest in participating. Pray that we will be able to get all of the details together, but that we will also spend a good amount of time bathing the project in prayer.
This week we also had our first Bible study with the youth. We are going through a video series by Francis Chan called Surrender. It seemed to go really well and we had a good group discussion after the video. Tomorrow night we are having a youth cookout. Working with the youth is another daunting task. I have never thought about doing youth ministry and it is intimidating to think about how critical this stage in their lives is and how I can have an impact on them. I am learning to trust God’s capability and sovereignty even when I feel inadequate. Please pray that Marianna and I will be able to build relationships with the youth even though we don’t have much time to do that. Pray that lots of youth will come to the cookout and that this summer they will learn what it means to surrender everything to God.
The highlight of my day is getting to minister to the kids in the afternoon. The highlight of my week is getting to go to Harrison square on Wednesdays. Those kids are so sweet and enjoyable to be around. Almost every kid had their bible verse from last week memorized. One girl named Carolyn told me that her and her sister memorized the verse by using it as a “password” to get in the car, apartment, etc. But, these kids are also very lost and unreached. Carolyn (age 8) doesn’t even know who God is. It is crazy that there are people in America, in the “buckle of the Bible belt” who don’t know who God is. It breaks my heart to hear Carolyn say that, but I am also excited to know that by the end of the summer, all of these kids will hopefully know and understand who God is, who we are, who Christ is, and what our response should be to His act of redemption and mercy.
Another blessing today was our time at Melrose. These kids have been insane every time we have come, but today they were also fairly calm and sweet. Our prayers were answered! Today the gospel truth we talked about was that man is sinful. They were attentive and some were even asking some really good questions! It was a good reminder of why I keep coming back to Melrose. The love that I had for them today will carry through the rough days and serve as a reminder that these kids are just as in need of the gospel as the kids at Harrison Square. Please pray for the hearts of the kids at both Harrison Square and Melrose to be transformed by the gospel this summer. Pray for the church that we have on Sundays at Melrose that more people will come and be pierced by the Word of Truth. Pray also for Marianna and I as we get some much needed rest this weekend.
Thank you again for all of your prayers. Please continue to remember us in prayer, I am so blessed to be able to see first-hand the difference that they are making.
Written by Samantha Burgess