It's really amazing to see how God does great things with us even when we are completely unwilling, stubborn and full of doubt. It shouldn't really be much of a surprise though, just look at the people God used in the Bible. Moses who doubted, Sarah who laughed, Jonah who ran. Tonight was a great example of that. God's faithfulness to work with us in spite of us.
Today is Friday so there was youth group tonight. Every Friday there is. I know that, I prepare for that, I promote that. All week long I'm thinking about it. This week however was a bit different. The gym at Bridlegrove was being used to pile the junk from a big clean up. 1/4 of the gym was taken up with old chairs, wood, broken tables and loads of other items. We knew this was the case so we had made arrangements for the kids to come to our house instead, play basketball outisde on our net, then watch a video in our living room. We weren't planning on using the gym tonight.
Then, around dinner time, it rained. It rained on the net out front of our house. It rained on our plans. What would we do? Since our car is leaking transmission fluid like Saline from an IV we suited up our double stroller with rain gear and headed to the chapel. Nobody was there. Did this mean that everyone decided to stay home because of the rain? Should we just put a sign on the door to tell everyone things were cancelled? Maybe if a few kids showed up we could play half-court in the gym for a few minutes. We decided that we would just tell the kids who show up that we don't anticipate anyone coming, say goobye and then walk home. Maybe no one will even show up. Our hope for a good night with the youth was dropping like the precipitation from the clouds. But God wasn't through with the night yet.
In the gym we were playing with our kids, waiting to see who would arrive. I had given up on the night. Nobody was there. It was raining. No other leaders were there. How could we possibly look after both our children, make snack, referee basketball and preach a message? All these thoughts went through my mind as I started to look for a paper and pen. I was about to write the words "No ball tonight" when the bell rang alerting me to the fact that someone was at the door. I froze. I figured I just wouldn't answer it. It was probably just one kid and he'd leave soon after he found out no one else was there. Forget it. Time to write that sign. Then it rang again.
I stalled. Ask Hayley. I hoped they'd go away. My faith was so small that I didn't even want to answer. They rang again and again. Hayley said "I can't just sit down here" and went and answered the door while I watched the kids. I felt like King Saul hiding in the bags.
It was Jordy, Omar and Rashad at the door. Omar has been out twice now, and I see him and Jordy when I'm at MAC highschool handing out tracts. They came in and I thought "ok, they'll just play half court untill 8 and then we'll all go home". God had other plans.
Next came Kevin, Jamoy, Jamari, Novella, Nabil, Frank and a few new guys. I was so unprepared (mainly from trying to watch our kids) that I didn't have the sign-in sheet and missed some of their names. I was unprepared for what God had prepared.
I thought I could handle the 10 or so kids that we had by this point. OK a little 4 on 4 with subs and we'll be outta here. I'll sit down and chat with them about the gospel, remind them about next Friday/Saturday and then jet home to tuck the kids in bed by 8:30. It's always a struggle to know what to do with our kids on youth group nights.
After that however, Josh and Quentin show up, then Alpha, Noah, Moses, Enoch, and about 4 or 5 other kids I have never seen before! This was getting out of control. Then Kyle, Kaylah. Catherine (a new girl who just moved onto our street) after that and others! God had brought out these kids in the rain. I thought I'd better get the video ready upstairs because God wants this night to happen.
Here's a video of the guys from a few weeks ago
I set up the TV while the guys played basketball. Jamoy was on the sidelines and said to me "Yo, that evidence bible you gave me is nice. I've been reading it and it's really good. What a rebuke. I had given Jamoy that Bible over a month ago, just before Easter. God is speaking to these kids and for some reason he chooses to use my little faith.
After ball, about 8:30, we stopped for snack and Hayley had some issues with trying to divide one cake up into 25 pieces (and keep Lukas and Sylas under control). She managed Ok and after everyone had something we headed upstairs for the "devotion" (where exactly did that word come from)?
When the kids were seated upstairs I mentioned next Saturdays clean-up and that they have a chance to get some community service hours. I wasn't sure how the video would go over considering the number of new kids who hadn't seen these videos before. It had been a few months since I showed one, but I put it on and then began the ministry of recon-shush-iation. The kids that we get are not the most well behaved kids on earth lets just say. The Hovind video was good. The kids were shushing each other. They laughed at his jokes. They all exclaimed "woah" when Hovind compared the brain of a bee to the most powerful computer in the world. It clearly demonstrated God's design and the need to repent and have our sins forgiven. It was video number 4, very good information for the kids.
After the video Kevin came up to me and said "yo shawn, can you make me a copy of that video". Wow. They are really getting it. God took my feeble little faith, just enought to go and see if anyone was going to show up, and turned it into a great night.
It was a good lesson for me. God can resurrect any situation. When things look bleak and hopeless then he can step in and show his power. Thank you Lord!