Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Youth SLAM Trip - Mid-Trip Update

Just a quick little update. We've now been on the Yakama reservation here in Yakama for 3 days now. We've had two great days of service weeding 8 foot tall weeds, chopping rock hard wood and battling dozens of wasp nests at the home of an elderly woman named Joanna. She's a Jewish holocaust survivor who has been a member of the Yakama nation for years now - and she's also diagnosed with cancer. Two of our youth, Joseph and Phillip had a chance to speak with her and discovered that she only has 3 months to live. It was sobering and inspired some searching prayers from the two young men.

Praise the Lord, we've been safe and relatively healthy even though we've been wielding axes and loppers and other potentially dangerous gardening equipment. The youth and the adults have also been giving themselves to the service faithfully. The before and after pictures of Joanna's yard are pretty striking. We have another two days of service and the work is hard - please continue to pray for us to have strength in our physical bodies and willing hearts/minds to serve.

I've been asking and praying God to show me what he's doing in us on this trip. I've been hoping and praying that our youth would come away transformed and I believe God's doing this. But the transformation isn't immediate. Some nights in the the teaching or debriefing times it's hard to tell what the youth are taking away from the experience other than a fun time or tiring time working away from home. I know God does great work in the small and unseen things in our lives and I'm praying that this would be true for us. Please be praying for our hearts to be of the good soil that Jesus describes in Mark 4, soil that bears good fruit in great quantity in the days and months to come.