Today was an excellent day. We started off the day finishing a couple different projects. Our posthole digging crew was able to set the poles in position for the fence to go in. Not only did they work hard but their posts where in a pretty straight line! Meanwhile, the rest of the students worked tirelessly, carrying dozens of rocks up a hillside to reinforce the trail to the zipline. The trail has been suffering from erosion and we know that adding rocks, trees limbs and rebar will give it protection for many years to come. Thankfully, we were able to get the majority of this done so tomorrow we should be able to finish.
After serving and eating lunch we gathered together in our teams to head out to our various villages. Good news today! Our team going to Enemy Swim was finally able to gain access to the area and minster to the people there. They had a large group of kids that were incredibly responsive to our teens serving them. It has been so wonderful to see our students serve these kids from broken backgrounds. As a youth pastor, really just as a Christian, it brings me so much joy to hear our students sharing the Gospel and Bible stories with the kids. Not only this but how they show unconditional love to the kids is staggering. It is amazing how honest and real they are. I know that God is not only working in the lives of the kids at the villages but He is also teaching so many valuable things about life, Himself and themselves while they are at it.
After going out to the villages we had free time and devotional time. Today’s devotional was all about showing God’s Heart for the Nations in the Psalms and Prophets. It was great getting to hear from our students how the individual passages moved in their minds and hearts. In case you want to know what passages we studied you can Click Here to read them all. It is a blessing to know that God cares for all people and that He sits enthroned above all things. Nothing is above Him and nothing can overpower Him. What a great God we serve.
As we closed out our night we watched the movie, “War Room”. I felt this movie would do a good job encouraging our students to pray in all circumstances. It may seem that the kids in the villages aren’t receiving our words and it may seem they don’t care, but we know that through prayer God can move in ways that are impossible to man. We know that He can change hearts toward Him. So the challenge has been made for our students to be fervent in prayer throughout the evening, morning and in the villages. We know God is going to do great things, whether we see it or not!
Before I sign off I want to let you know something else that happens on our mission trip that I haven’t mention. Every night we close our meetings with what we call the “Encouragement Hot Seat.” I choose 5 students each night to go in front of their peers to be encouraged. There is always a bit of nervousness on whether or not some students will share but that is always quickly relieved by the rush of hands in the air to love and uplift their fellow friends. It has been so heartwarming to hear our students love one another and encourage one another every night. It truly creates a sense of unity on this trip. I know that God will use that to bring us together as we go out into the field tomorrow.
Tomorrow is our last day of ministry here in South Dakota. We know that the mission doesn’t end until we are face to face with God in heaven. We also know that tomorrow will be tough. For many of our students this will be their last chance to see these kids. It will be hard to say goodbye to those they have been ministering to and loving all week. Please pray that God will continue to use us to impress the Gospel into the lives of these children. Pray that He will give us hope as we leave and say goodbye to the children we have loved for the past 4 days. Pray that God’s name will be exalted in all the earth!