Monday, February 15, 2010
To measure success:
Firmly known is that the gospel was presented not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. (1 Thes. 1:5). My God is one of POWER and he was undoubtedly, present this weekend.
From a leadership position, it’s rather easy to forget praise and take mental note to “change the opener,” “find ways to use journals,” or “more free time.” My mind was a jumble of tasks and future decisions.
Taking a step back today, I see that God in His Spirit was exploding out of the retreat center as balloons filling up a car, pressing against the windows. I apologize, I think in analogies.
I thank the Lord for the moments of assurance, without the need of faith: the moments where He was surely moving in the hearts of girls in measurable ways. Girl 1, originally protected by walls, she showed respect to leaders, she started talking, even shared how she wants to be loved, but said she was waiting to be “loved right.” Girl 2, a natural leader, started “preaching” telling all the girls around her how they need to look at the mentors and “they’s our example, to be like them.” She won’t let a boy get more than a kiss without a ring. Girl 3, has been quiet for 6 months, wouldn’t stop talking and hugging all weekend. Girl 4, confessed she doesn’t want to be around men at all, including family, she said she’s afraid of them. She’s memorizing “Perfect love drives out fear.” Girl 5, asked “How can I talk to my Dad about sex, without him thinking I want to have it?” Many girls signed a Purity Covenant between God and them stating, “I ____________make a commitment to keep myself pure in spirit, mind, body and soul for you Jesus and the husband you have for me.”
How I wish I could say, 28 girls made decisions to follow Christ. Or 28 girls are waiting for marriage to have sex. But God has given us faith instead: faith to believe that God moved below the surface this weekend. That he touched hearts; that he presented a little bit of truth in the mess of lies the world screams, faith to know that truth is lasting, faith to know that His will will come to pass. And faith even to realize that God exceeds our expectations.
“The one who calls you is FAITHFUL, and He will do it” (1 Thes 5:24).
I pray for your protection Lord over the truth planted in their hearts. May they understand and know their purpose, beauty, worth, and love found in the fold of Christ. To God be the Glory. Amen.