Allow me to introduce you to four of the greatest young people in Hawaii...
These are the "young people" that came to India with us.
Let me start with a confession: I have a hard time not being listed here!
I mean, 27 isn't that old, right?!?
Sadly, in comparison to Taylor, who is something like 11 years younger than me, I am old.
Okay, so back to more important things...like bragging about how AMAZING these 4 are!
Let's go through them one by one, shall we?!?
Chris-my encourager-To be honest, I didn't know Chris well going into this trip. I knew him on more of a surfacey level. I knew what school he went to, who his friends were and that kind of thing, but I didn't know his heart. And can I just tell you, it's beautiful. I watched a kid who I assumed was shy and laid back step up and share openly and honestly. I never saw him waiver once when it came to being upfront and/or leading in any aspect. From teaching the devo session to sharing his timeline to being in the skits...everything he did, he did with his whole heart. I was blown away by his willingness to jump in wherever, whenever, no questions asked. And I loved how the other guys at the retreat watched that leadership and saw another guy...a peer...who was more than just talk. On the last night of the retreat we sat talking and he was in complete awe of what God had done.
I see a mark of greatness on his life and I know this trip was the beginning of Chris stepping into all that God has for him.
Taylor-my lovely-I have had the privilege of walking with Taylor over the last year and holy moly what a change! Last year, her mom approached me about getting her to come to summer camp. She was less than thrilled that we were plotting to take her to camp and ruin her summer ;-). But at camp things changed and since then...wow! I consider it such an honor to have watched her change and grow from glory to glory.
She has gone from this girl who was forced to go to church to one that has been to camp, successfully invited and got 2 girls involved with small group, been baptized and been to India twice. All that in LESS THAN A YEAR! And the the great part about Taylor is that it's not about accomplishment, it's about a real, day to day, life changing relationship with God. She is by far the most teachable high school student I've ever met. Her passion is unreal. I love when she shares her devos, it's so full of truths applicable to everyone.
In India, she just completely step outside of herself and was willing to do whatever was asked of her...it was refreshing.
I can hardly put into words just how proud of her I am.
And again, I know this is just the start of something absolutely incredible in her life.
Scotty- my joy-This kid exudes joy with every fiber of his being. I can't even find words to explain it...it's some sort of freak phenomenon. He was a breath of fresh air, he was a constant source of laughter and you can really see the love of Jesus in everything he does. Now don't get me wrong...he's still a crazy 17 year old guy. But he is crazy in love with serving our God...what a gift. Another thing I appreciate about Scotty is that he is not afraid to say what's on his mind, no matter how silly or serious. He is the real deal. I was so blessed to watch him walk into this whole thing a little uncomfortable and by our last night in India he was more than comfortable...hence the photo ;-) I know that as God watched this trip unfold he was nothing but proud of Scotty's willingness to service him with his whole heart.
Well done good and faithful servant...
Elise- my little soul sister. I have known Elise since she was in high school...oh, so many years ago ;-), okay so only 3 years. But I have watched 3 of the most transitional years of her life. I have watched her question...I have watched her wrestle....I have seen her at peace...I have seen her so frustrated she wanted to scream. I have watched her worship when she didn't "feel" like it and I have watched her lead people right to the foot of the cross in worship.
I can't express enough what asset she was to our team in India. I could tell at times that she felt out of her element but never once did that stop her from pressing through 110%. I loved seeing her surrender more and more to what God was doing. She led small groups, she led worship, she loved on the high school girls at Woodstock, she loved on the boys at the Firs.
By the end of the trip she was beyond exhausted and blessed just as much.
I am so grateful to have her in my life and am so excited to continue
watching the will of God unravel before her.
What a beautiful thing.
All in all, I just thank God for these fantastic four...
I thank Him for the work He started...
I thank Him for the work He continues...
I thank Him for the honor that it is to be a part of their journey...
I am blessed for having known each one of them.
The role they played on this mission trip is one of great eternal value.
I couldn't be more proud...
And I have a feeling our Father in heaven feels the same way :)
Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for other believers in your speech, behavior, love, faithfulness, and purity.
1 Tim 4:12