The Body of Christ
Tis’ been a while since I have written, so I thought a bit of an update on life may be in order.
I mentioned in my last post that I was going on a missions trip, helping with a basketball camp, so I thought I would share a few of my highlights with you in hopes that you may be encouraged.
Day 1, we arrived safely in El Cajon, California, Saturday afternoon. We joined Kaleo church for their worship service that evening, which was the first of many refreshing experiences. The church was so kind, loving, and welcoming and made us feel immediately like we were a part of their family, which we truly were. There are many homeless people apart of this church because of where it is located and because the church has a particular passion and love for the homeless, so it was really neat to see how much these people joyfully lived for Christ. Even though they had nothing, they had everything.
One of the highlights from my time serving at the basketball camp for the inner city kids was having the opportunity to witness to a 7 year old boy named Elijah. From the beginning we knew that he was going to be one of our tougher kids that may give us trouble, which he did, but my heart was also immediately drawn to him as well, and I wanted to reach out and love him the best I could for that one short week that I would be there. So one day after he had wandered off away from his team, I walked off after him and began to talk with him, asking him simple questions as a way to start conversation and get him talking. From there it led to deeper conversations in which he opened up and shared with me a little of his family life. I was able that day to share with him a little bit of God’s love for him and then was also able to pray with him at the end. Although he is only about 7 years old, I pray that the words I spoke to him and my actions would be something that would stand in his memory forever and that someday he may come to a true knowledge of who Jesus is and how much he is loved by God. I would love it if ya’ll could join me in praying for my little friend, Elijah, and that God would capture his heart.
Another significant part of my trip, Day 4, was one of the hardest days of the week. My team learned that a young man from my church, who I personally was acquainted with and also friends with his sister, had died suddenly while away on another missions trip himself. A flood of memories came back to me that day, as I recalled my own experience 10 years ago with my own brother passing away when I was only 12. It caused my heart to be broken for this family and to pray often for them as I felt their own pain at having lost a loved one myself. I cried a lot that day for this family and because my own memories were so vivid that day, yet was encouraged by the body of Christ that loved and cared about me during that painful day. Please lift up this family as they grieve the loss of their brother and son. Losing a loved one is a pain that will never go away, but please pray that God’s grace would be with this family strengthening them to continue serving God daily even in the pain and that they would be drawn closer into the arms of Christ during this next season of their lives.
One thing that stood out to me during this trip was the love that Kaleo Church poured out on me and my team. We had gone to California, seeking to love and bless them, yet they seemed to be the ones loving and serving us and we were the ones being blessed. It was so beautiful to see the body of Christ serving one another and being so filled with joy because of it. It was such a perfect picture to me of Christ and his bride, the church.I was also very blessed to be a part of an awesome and supportive team who was daily in God’s word and seeking to build one another up in love. I had several really sweet and edifying conversations with various team members.