We returned from Rwanda on August 20th, and I have been contemplating my experiences since then. The human suffering that I witnessed there did not shock or surprise me because I witness profound human suffering on a daily basis in my job as a special educator. What surprised me was seeing lives transformed by Africa New Life Ministries. People are changed by this ministry: body, mind and spirit.
Before the airplane landed in the United States, I was already in dialogue with the Holy Spirit about what he was calling me to do next. I felt a strong impression to begin a Young Life ministry at my school for students with disabilities. Young life has a special branch for students with developmental disabilities called “Capernaum”. Of course the goal of the ministry is evangelism and discipleship, and ultimately the transformation of lives. (I meet with the regional Young Life coordinator on September 12th to find out how to get started.)
Still, after the first week of school, I was saddened by some of the struggles and hardships that my students are facing on a daily basis, and I needed to wake up early this morning and spend time with the Lord. I needed refreshment and healing for my own heart.
God spoke to me again through John Eldredge’s teaching series called “The Hope of Prayer”. John quotes George McDonald on CD 7 to illustrate how much our prayers can affect change in our lives and ministries:
“Let us in all the troubles of life remember that our one lack is life, that what we need is more of the life making presence in us, making us more and more largely alive. When most oppressed, when most weary of life, let us bethink ourselves that it is, in truth, the inroad and presence of death we are weary of. When most inclined to sleep, let us rouse ourselves to live. Of all things, let us avoid the false refuge of a weary collapse, a hopeless yielding to things as they are.”
John went on to say, “The great hopefulness of prayer is that things can be different, and we have a role in making them so.”
I am so excited about what God will do in the lives of my students and their families as I partner with God to first pray for them, and then hopefully share the gospel. Please pray for me in the next several weeks as I learn the process of this ministry.