Friday, July 06, 2007

A Reminder

Having returned from Mexico a few short days ago, dragging my sleep-deprived body along this week has been an arduous task. I spent the week, along with 24 incredibly gifted students, leveling dirt, moving rock, and stacking cinder-block in order to help in whatever way we could a camp and church in Reynosa, Mexico. In the evenings we put together VBS for children in these churches, and I played more soccer than I have in my entire life. By the way, after playing with these 6-10 year olds, I have no idea how our US soccer team managed to beat Mexico. They far outclass us in skill, a lesson I learned when an 8 year old named Ramon put a move on me and I lost my balance and fell. I'm no soccer player, but I'm a decent enough athlete to have been completely embarrassed. The memories of these events and people will last long in all our minds, I'm sure. As we have eased back into life here, I'm reminded of what Christ means when he calls, "Follow me."

I had the opportunity to see students come alive in service, embracing other people in love, and bearing witness to Christ as their lives pointed away from themselves to the One who had called to them, "Follow me." I saw them called again through the same service some of the Mexican people extended to us. I witnessed one young man, perhaps for the first time, truly understand how much God loves him, and through such an awakening, his shell began to crack and the joyous and beautiful kid who was trapped inside began to emerge. And all of these were reminders.

As I return home, trying to figure out how to capture the love and unity we experienced as a group and build it into our entire youth group, I'm reminded that I cannot. Mexico didn't do this to these students. It was merely the setting, the stage if you will. On this stage, in the midst of serving, God was faithfully who God always is -- the One who calls in love to his people, claiming them for his service in the power of His Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ. How's that for a reminder?


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