|Supporting one of the youth in baptism|
Over the Christmas season, we had over $3,000 worth of gift cards donated to us. We were able to give several cards to one of the high schools we have a presence in. A few days later, we received an email from one of the teachers reflecting back to us the impact these gift cards were able to make.
“A student I work with comes from a family of 7 (5 kids) and I recently overheard her speaking with her younger brother about how they were planning on pooling their bus money in order to buy their sister a birthday gift (the family did not have the means to buy a gift otherwise). They were
debating between surprising her with a present or with a trip to the local swimming pool. Through your generosity, I was able to bring the student to Walmart in order to purchase a gift for her sister, plus they were still able to take her swimming. Later that evening, I received a text from my
student telling me that her sister described the day as the “best birthday ever” and she wanted to pass on her thankfulness for your generosity. So I REALLY want to say thank you.”
This spring, my coworker Rachel and I have been meeting regularly with a youth to counsel and disciple them. It’s been an amazing last few months - seeing them take their faith seriously, forgive others, and be set free from shame. About a month ago, we got to celebrate their baptism. It was so encouraging to hear the names of so many of our staff and volunteers, as they thanked them for being pivotal in their faith journey. Then, during the coffee break, the pastor found me and asked if I would help with the baptism. What a joy to represent the many youth workers and volunteers who spent countless hours with this young person.
I have a very interesting opportunity coming up. I’ve been asked to do a seminar for a church on LGBTQ and Jesus. I am both excited and terrified at the same time. Confession time… I don’t have all the answers on this one. Nope, not even close, but I do feel like Jesus is wanting me to help our churches live out his love in a courageous way. I would appreciate your prayers as I step into this complex issue.
- Derian Julihn