Sunday, July 01, 2007

Devil - I'm still here!

The past six months have been rocky and busy. But, I'm still here.

After years of prayer and hard work, we're finally beginning to see a breakthrough in our youth group. Kathy and I have wanted so bad for these kids to have a hunger for the things of God and it looks like they are now.

It was frustrating each time they would be mean to someone else, or laugh at and mock the song service. I would hate it when they discouraged their peers from taking seriously a message or participating in an activity. Sitting with their arms crossed, they often talked and texted, even when they were asked not to. I'm so tired of hearing about "emergency" cell phone calls and "weak bladders."

We went to youth camp over a week ago and God really met each one of them in a special way. Something clicked and stuck. They woke up from their apathy and started realizing that Jesus Christ has a plan for each of us and that we ought to be in love with Him and know Him as much as we can.

They all became better friends during the week through being on the same team during rec games and praying for each other during altar times every night. Some of the older ones took up the mantle of leadership and reached out to the younger. Finally. They started acting like a family that cares for one another.

Now that we're back to "normal" life, they haven't let the fire die. One of them told his mom that he wanted to have family devotional times every week at home. He also organized a student led Bible study and they've already had a meeting on their own, without me! That's never happened before.

While we were at camp we had opportunity to discuss translations of the Bible and how the Bible came to be. They all expressed interest in taking a field trip to the Bible Museum here in the Phoenix area. We're taking that trip this Tuesday.

For the past two Sundays they have come down to the front of the sanctuary to stand and worship together. It has opened opportunities for prayer and encouragement. Even some who did not get to go to camp have caught the new zeal. And this past Wednesday night's youth service was great. They wanted to pray for one another and we ended up staying for an hour beyond our normal ending time.

In my High School Sunday School class they gave $62.50. Let's just say that's a switch. :)

For all who want to quit... For all who are frustrated and can't yet see the light... Don't give up! Stand your ground and keep fighting. Raise your hands toward Heaven and cry out "I'm still here." Though Satan would want to thwart your work, you stand as a testimony to the greatness of God. You tell the old serpent to get lost, you're not going anywhere. For as long as you have breath, you serve Christ!


Jason said...

That's cool. I spoke last night in OC for the first time...first time at all in a long time. It's still not my favorite thing in ministry (not nearly), but still presents an opportunity to share a different angle. The group's been around for a few years, but has had more leadership change then anyone would even believe. It's been tough to keep any consistency. I know what you mean. Keep going!

JimmyBob said...

Thanks Jason. Glad to hear about your sharing the Gospel. I miss those days speaking to you and the gang. It's been so long.

Mike Jones said...

It great to see how God is working in your youth group. Keep up the positive spirit.

bjwilbur said...

This has touched me and made me cry. I have been praying for our youth group to finally get it. It is wonderful to see God answering prayers.

JimmyBob said...

Things are still going great. I'll come back later and let everyone know. Be encouraged! Keep praying and believing.

xt4jfriend said...

I'm so excited that this is happening! Patience for God's plan to come about is well worth it, huh? I'll keep praying for the youth.