As Nick let me know EHA is planning to focus on a local ministry each weekend in June, and explore reaching out to people with practical displays of love, I was amazed, because I was thinking about focusing on ways we can remind ourselves that Jesus is here, now, like setting a place for him at our dinner table (which we have done, with interesting results). Sometimes one of us remembers it’s there, and it calls us to ask for prayer about something or someone. Since it’s close to my place at the table, I think I’m reminded more often than Susan and the kids, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we recognize His Presence in our lives, and respond to Him.
But this idea of Nick’s is even better. Finding ways to BE the hands and feet of Jesus really helps when the cares and woes of the world and the people who inhabit it seem overwhelming and prompt the "it’s such a huge problem, what can one person do?!?" There are things we can do, one person at a time, often for one other person in need. And we become the hands and feet of Jesus. What a joy!
I’ve found that to be so in serving as the area office administrator at Young Life, a Christian ministry for middle school and high school students. This ministry is founded on the concept of walking beside these kids, being there at school lunch breaks, their art or sporting events, taking them to camp in the summer, and getting to know them, so that when they are ready to talk about their relationship with Jesus, they know the volunteer staff person, and feel more comfortable about talking with them.
The joy comes for me because I know I’m supporting the staff and volunteers so that they are freed up to be with the kids when it matters most. I also enjoy the privilege of praying for each kid I add to the database when they’ve signed a "club card" at the weekly gatherings, or registered to go to Washington Family Ranch in Antelope, Oregon for a week in the summer, billed as "the best week of their lives".
I have a "built-in" prayer list. I pray for staff, volunteers, and kids while completing my administrative tasks. My "part-time" job is a "full-time" prayer experience. Everyone who comes into the Young Life building I consider a spiritual encounter. As soon as they push open the door, I start praying, whether it’s staff, a volunteer, a kid, or the UPS driver.
As you read these words about Young Life, perhaps you will think about how you might find a place to walk beside a kid. Call me! We’ll go for a coffee, and talk!
As we hear from others in the community who feel called to the ministry they are sharing about in this House issue, my prayer is that you will be listening for that Sweet Voice of the Holy Spirit, urging you to step into that for which you hear Him calling you.
We grow as we share,
Mary Hagle, editor