God Shows Up
You just can't top hanging out in a room full of teenagers worshipping Jesus. It's one of my all time favourite things. I have had a full on week of some of my favourite things from praying with Jesus oriented people to calls with former students to spontaneous coffee dates to the epic worship night our youth group attended last night.
I've had a struggle the past few weeks to find a theme or trend through my week to give a nice narrative to my post like I usually try to do. The only clear thing that ties the events of my week together is that I feel complete confirmation that I'm right where God wants me to be despite still searching for the permanent housing situation. In fact, this week I was going to look at a place, and just before I went to the open house for something that was on the high end of my budget and over what I'd hoped to be paying, a generous donor called to catch up briefly and say that he felt God prompting him to give to me more regularly and wanted to give the amount of the difference between my initial rent budget and the price of the place I was going to view.
In actually viewing this place, it does seem rather unlikely to actually work, but the increase in my budget range gives me a lot more confidence in looking at more options in the neighbourhood. I'm also still doing well at this flat in Halswell. I just am keeping my eyes open for what God is doing, and I promise you I'm seeing him show up. He's shown up in the various church members willing to carpool with me to cut down on my bus time, and in the friend searching housing listings for me and driving me to open houses. I also had some moments with God just sitting at the dining table this week, and they were really precious as I took a breath and reflected on the mountains moved to get me to Christchurch. I needed those moments just as much as the Year 8 program graduation where I got to welcome new students as high school youth group members, the final youth night of term three, and the Big Top event where youth groups across the city gathered together to praise Jesus and hear a message of hope.
I was exhausted by the time I got home late on Saturday night, but it was so worth it. The entire event despite the unpredictable elements (like arriving a tad late and scattering throughout rather than getting to sit as a group and navigating the gravel parking lot with the wheelchair in the rain) was one of those beautiful moments where I knew, I mean could feel deep in my soul, this is what I'm meant to be doing with my life. I love being a part of encouraging young people to encounter Jesus and hear the truth of how the Gospel can transform their lives.
One of the many things I've been privileged to do here in the past month but have skipped over recounted in previous posts is attend a gathering of youth pastors that was led by the coordinators of this event from last night. When I was introducing myself to Mike, he made a point to tell me I was a direct answer to prayer as he and other youth pastors in Christchurch had been praying Matthew 9:38. As I looked over the crowds of worshipping teenagers, I was praying so fervently for the kids in my group who don't yet know Jesus to encounter him and for those who do know him to invite their friends to know about him. The harvest is plentiful, and what an absolute honour to be called as a worker here.
As the bass resonated through my whole body in the event space, I knew God put me in that exact space to serve him. I get to have so much fun at my job. I also get to have some of the hardest conversations imaginable, and I know plenty of those moments are ahead here, but I consider it a joy to walk alongside these young people who are going to be world changers with their commitment to Jesus.
In the midst of all the awesome this week, I had plenty of exhausting adulting to do, so I'll admit I was already tired before I showed up at some of the events I attended this week. But I showed up, and I saw God at work in each place. I was so filled by each separate thing, and I'll still sleep in tomorrow because it's my day off and my body needs to catch up. Both of these are true. My physical body is carrying on, and my soul is overwhelmed with the goodness of God and how the body of Christ is at work in my life right now.
If you're part of that international team of Jesus followers who happen to read my story, first, thank you. Second, pray with me for the right housing to show up. Third, say another thank you to God for making all the miracles happen so far to get me here and open doors for me to do ministry with these incredible young Kiwis. Also, it would be nice if I could walk again.