A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why ships are built.
You can't kill a dead man.
Last week I had the joy of working in McColl, South Carolina with the youth group from Lansdale United Methodist Church. I had a great time getting to know the youth and seeing missions lived out in the states. I drew closer to God and learned a lot about Christian community. It was such a blessing to be part of “God’s Youth in Motion.”
Here is part of an email that was sent to the parents of the youth sharing a little bit of what we did during the week:
“Today we took a break from the usual job sites to do some clean-up work around the center of McColl before taking a short break in the pool. The short time we spent in the community had a powerful impact on both adults and youths this morning, as we all realized how simple and easy it would be for any of us to take a few hours out of our week to clean up home, volunteer at Manna on Main street, or any number of things. In the afternoon and evening we helped host a fair at the “Hope House”, which is run by Main Street United Methodist here in McColl. We had set up free burgers and hot dogs, a dunk tank for the kids to play with, a snow cone and face painting stand, and a free prayer booth. All the while encouraging the community to donate canned food (the fair was all free). The fair was a booming success and had surpassed all expectations. Tons of people and kids came, and donated food (we filled up the pantry). Our kids were super on top of everything that needed to get done, and every one of them took their share of the work so that no one was working all day long and there was plenty of time to just enjoy the day for each one. The day was particularly meaningful to us because we were able to interact with the community in a larger and more personal way than we are at individual houses, and that the community made an effort to make it clear how much it meant to them that we were here doing what we were doing (in fact, most everyone down here seems to not only know of our presence in the county but also to make an effort to let us know they appreciate us). We were also able to give out a fair amount of Bibles, many to young families, which inspired a joy and peace in our God and his work in the community and through our ministry.
Personally today I met a man named James Hunt near the end of the day at the prayer table. We had a sign up which read “Free Prayer” next to a tent, under which we sat, right beside the side walk. James is an elderly looking black gentleman who is slightly worse for the wear. He shuffled up off the street, looked at us, and pointed to the sign saying he would like some. Naturally, I meant to oblige him, and, after, asking if he meant for me to address anything in particular, prayed for his salvation and his soul. He made it clear to me that he believed the Holy Spirit had put it on him to come over to the fair and ask us to pray for him. After I prayed for him we took him to get some food and relax. It turns out he is nearly fifty two years old, is from North Carolina and had come to McColl after he grew up. His uncle was a preacher in the area, but is now dead. James was at one time a Christian, or had thought he was, but had lost the practice at one point or another. He is homeless, and has some trouble with alcohol, but is employed in McColl. He is not much of a talker, but is very expressive, and was frequently between a benevolent joy to be with us in thanksgiving and the jubilant, but humble, weeping of a soul encountered by the Christ. I was at a loss of words about him for most of the time I spent with him, though I was filled with joy. I would ask that you all keep him in your prayers. He is in need of strength, wisdom, and discipline to lean on the Spirit and the Word (he took a Bible, which he seemed to be moderately familiar with) in the face of tribulation and temptation. His soul hungers for the Lord and for His eternal kingdom, but temptation may conceive sin, which when grown causes death. We’ve done what little we can for him while we are here, and I fear for the lonely nights he must face.
Thanks a lot guys, God is good.