I hate goodbyes. And I’ve had to say a lot of them the past few days. Goodbyes are only hard because of the friendships you made, the memories created, and the life you shared together for a short time. A week ago my goodbyes weren’t going to be too bad. I had already said goodbye to the kids at the apartment and I was ready to go home, but then this week happened.
This whole past week was spent with the Hispanic church Pozo de Esperanza (Pozo for short) doing outreach ministry to the surrounding neighborhoods. Monday was a preparation day and by the end of the day my expectations were not super high for how the week was going to play out. But then on Tuesday, I was blown away when I walked into the gym and it was filled with loud screams, moving bodies, and flying soccer balls. This mission project has looked like so many different things throughout the summer, as we have been planning it, but it was awesome to see it happen exactly as God had planned it from the beginning. Tuesday we had about 35 kids and then on Wednesday we only had five and two of them didn’t show up until the very end. It was a little discouraging to say the least, but I learned the many different ways that God works. My mom texted me that evening and asked “how did God work today?” My first thought was that He hadn’t, but then I was reminded of the promise in Isaiah 55:11 that says God’s word will not go out in vain, but it will accomplish its purpose. Although God hadn’t worked in the obvious way through large numbers, He was definitely working. God was working when He brought those five kids to us that day, He was working in the church through teaching the youth how to serve their community, by unifying the body, and He was working in so many more ways that I may never know. The next two days averaged about 15 kids and parents who stayed to watch their kids. On Saturday there was a free karate camp and then a block party. Both went really well and helped establish trust between the community and the church.
I loved getting to know the people at Pozo more and seeing the way they take care of each other, are so ready to serve, love on the kids, and love the Lord. Their lack of planning can be frustrating at times and a lot of the week was chaotic and unorganized, but their passion and love challenged me. Despite the sad goodbye, I am so thankful I got to know and love them even more this week. Please pray that the Word of God will continue to fulfill it’s purpose in the lives of the families that participated last week. Pray for Pozo de Esperanza that they will be able to continue this outreach ministry throughout the year and that the heart of the congregation will grow in love for the people in their community.
Overall this summer has been so rewarding. I have learned so many different things, some of which I probably won’t realize until after I get home. I am flying home today, and I can’t wait to see many of you in the upcoming days. Thank you again for all of your prayers this summer. Please continue to pray for the city of Gainesville, GA and for the continuation of what God is doing there.
Written by Samantha Burgess