This is not a phrase a leadership team wants to hear after a youth retreat. One in which most would consider to be an amazing weekend, but being on the “front lines” so to speak can put some wear and tear on somebody like me. The youth ministry that both Kim and I volunteer in, is definitely not for the faint of heart.
yes, suicide. Suck.
…this is just a list of some of the “things” that we hear about in your every-day type of thing that these middle schoolers deal with.
Who in their right mind would put themselves in a situation to hear the heartache and pain some of these children go through? Who am I to be the one to hear about parents abandoning their own kids, or choosing addictions over hugs. That’s some bullshit right there.
Can’t anybody else step in?! PLEASE!
I’m not all that serious here, well, the part about anybody else stepping in, because I know that God’s put Kim and me in this place for a reason, and he knows we can handle it. I think.
I mean, do for one… right?
Here’s my issue with that.
I want more…
Since you can’t reach ALL of them, why even try? This mentality can be deadly and if we allow this cancer of a thought engulf us, we paralyze ourselves to the point of not moving, not willing to step out, and ultimately not serving.
However, through God’s word we are assured that this work here that we’re doing is not in vain, and the personal win can be being present and an integral part of the time a child accepted the fact that He sent His Son, and died for him.
That win, is kind of a big deal.
An eternal deal.
I’ve dealt with some of those same issues in my college ministry. It makes me want to track their parents down and show them the love of Christ with my fist. Some of the things I hear are just ridiculous – like a father telling his daughter that she was a mistake and he wishes she was dead. Yup. Love of God with a punch to the face.
I don’t think I’ve ever had the “I want more” mentality paralyze me before. I do want more, but the stories I get to be a part of when God starts changing lives are exciting, so it’s worth only have the one or 10 or 20 and knowing that God will give me more when I can handle it.
GREAT post, Ben!
Thanks Jason, so often do I want to show the love of fist.. I mean, wait.
And oh dude, if I heard those words coming out of anybody’s mouth to their daughter… actually,I really don’t know what I would do, but I know what I’d be capable of doing.
I love you guys!!! Ben, think about it this one. You touch one kids life, and he, by example, touches several other kids life, who, by example, keep on keeping on. That question is often on my mind. And, you’re right, it can bring you to the point of giving up. But God is always at work – always!!!
That’s what I see in SO many people, the fear of not being able to do enough, stopping them from serving. Just do it!
I’m so glad you and Kim are not the “give up” type but the “forge ahead” type. You are igniting a small flame in each child. Not only are you touching one child’s life at a time but your kids are watching you and will repeat it when it is their time to ignite a flame. Love it!
Well, we had a great example in you 🙂
This little light of mine…
I feel you. I really do. Within the last year, I’ve heard of students experiencing tough times as well (death, rape, cutting, divorce, jail, suicide). It’s sad and it sucks. I know we can’t help all, but we can invest in one. Thanks for what you do, Ben.
What stinks, is as they get older it does not necessarily mean it gets better, and many times it gets much worse as you have experienced I’m sure. Thank YOU for your service.
It’s so hard when we work so hard to try to influence people and often we don’t see fruits in multitudes. But I believe that one person is enough. Eventually, that person may influence another and so forth. This thing here (Christianity) spreads and moves and succeeds.
I like the words of Paul to the Corinthians:
“When the going gets tough…”
Oh wait, that’s not it. Sorry! Here it is:
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Not in vain. Keep changing lives Ben! It’s your gift!
Thanks for your words Moe. It’s that hope that one will turn into many and so on, that keeps us going on.
God’s faithfulness and unfailing love compels us to move forward…. it’s a guarantee that His Word seen in your life will not return void. Keep it up, son…. Isaiah 55:8-13 Remember? vs 11. 🙂
I actually remember vs 10 more, because you were so funny making the “rain” motions… ha