Saturday, July 10, 2010

MP2 Moments

I will have to admit it: I was not looking forward to Mission: Possible 2 this year. For 2 weeks before, I was fighting a crushing fatigue and my attitude was poor at best. I found myself actually dreading the week that I had looked forward to since the previous year. I did not feel capable of loving children or even tolerating them. Over the weekend I began to plead with my heavenly Father to change my heart and to renew my physical strength, not for myself but for the sake of GP and for the sake of the kiddos who would be stuck with me for a week. As always, He rewards those who earnestly seek Him, and I found myself waking at 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning with a brand-new outlook. And so began the second annual Mission: Possible.

As in any group of children, it seems there is one who is the designated good kid and one who is the class clown, lacking in self-control and stirring up other kids to follow their less-than-desirable example. This group was no different. There was one child who tried my patience, required constant reminders to "keep your hands to yourself," needed prompting and prodding to do any actual work, and generally made it difficult to find anything--anything at all--to be encouraging about. That background being painted, here follows a list of my favorite moments:

  • Finding not one, but three moments to encourage the laziest kid on Thursday.
  • Taking prayer requests from some of the kids in my group during a food canvassing walk through a neighborhood, then praying for them right then and there, out loud for the kids to hear.
  • Interspersed with the prayers, discussing with the kids how awesome it is that we can come to God anywhere, anytime, with any requests or concerns thanks to the work Christ did on the cross for us.
  • Talking with one boy about the nature of God, who is called both a consuming fire and the Living Water, and how Jesus is known as the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God. Praying that these seeds planted will grow into a fascination with and hunger to really know the Lord.
  • Getting a hug on Friday night from the one kid who tested my patience the most during the week.
  • Expressing delight and welcoming one young lady who would like to come back and be a youth volunteer when she is too old to attend MP and encouraging her in her hard work and positive attitude.
  • Seeing the whine level decrease dramatically as the week went on.
  • Watching the faces of the patients at the nursing home as the kids sang and played ball with them.
  • Hearing the excitement in my own kids' voices as they related their missions each day and looked forward to the next.
  • Linking arms and twirling with the kids during the dance break.
  • Listening to one kid sing this year's theme song with gusto on Friday night and hearing another's excitement that they would get an MP3 of it to keep.
There were more, but those are the ones that stand out. It was a great week, and I found that, once again, God comes through when I am at the end of myself. He gave me the strength, the compassion, the energy and the creativity I needed to honor Him during it all.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.