20th Anniversary Celebration, May 19, 2021. For more information click here.

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Being Available In An Unavailable World

I am coming up on my first full school year here at TNT. So I am reflecting on how this year went and how I can serve better. Of course I am focusing on all the negative areas, and the enemy is in full force whispering “you didn’t do enough” and “you aren’t skilled enough”. As I started to fall into the self doubt, God reminded me that I am right where I am supposed to be, and He will equip me with everything I will need. Once I changed my focus I started remembering all the little things throughout the year that brought me life, and where I saw God working.

I remembered mentoring and building relationships with 8 boys this year. I had the pleasure to meet with these boys on a weekly basis. Usually we would play games or work on school studies. As I got to know these boys better and they got to know me better they would share some things about their life, both the good and the bad. I remember walking/sitting with students as they tell me about whats going on in their life. These precious lives do a great job of masking some deep hurts, but as the discussion got deeper the wounds were revealed. Sometimes I would just listen because thats what they needed, just someone to here them out. They needed to know that someone cared enough to take time for them. I remember sitting with teachers as they share their hearts with me. Several times during the year teachers would open up about the cares of their heart. I would also get the opportunity to share my cares and concerns and we would connect on a personal level. I have built great relationships with some wonderful teachers/administration just by engaging them. I remember the national day of prayer where we had 12-15 unchurched kids join us at the flag pole to pray.

On May 3rd, (the national day of prayer) I was meeting students at the flag pole before school which was attended well by the middle school students and several teachers. Then it was the Intermediate students turn to show up. I was a little discourage at the lack of students that showed up. But then something amazing happened, a teacher coming out to help pray saw a bunch of students just waiting for the school to open. He asked them to join us, AND THEY DID! So around this flagpole we were joined by 12 -15 unchurched students. What an awesome experience to see God at work.

As I reflect on all these things I am reminded that what I am doing is making myself available for hurting people. What I run into daily is kids/youth don’t have someone there that’s invested in them. When I show I’m invested in their lives, I am showing the love of Jesus. Isn’t that what this is all about? Sharing life with others and letting others share life with you. As I prepare for next year I look at how Jesus shared life with others. He met them where they were at. And I am reminded that He still meets us where we are at. No matter how far we have strayed. Satan wants you to see your weakness and despair, God wants you to see His work in your weakness and rejoice.

 

-Mike Steffy – Ephrata District Coordinator