This summer has been a summer of firsts for me. The first time I’ve ever been anywhere for longer than a week, first time I’ve lived anywhere other than Tampa, Florida, first time I’ve taught a music/choir class, and the first time that I’ve ever truly been out of my comfort zone. And even though I’m out of my comfort zone, I feel at peace, and like this is exactly where I’m supposed to be; learning more about Him every day.
Back in January, I was in Atlanta for the Passion conference and ended up going to one of the North Point Community Church campuses. It was the first sermon of the New Year, and Andy Stanley was talking about resolutions. His main point was a simple question; he asked “what breaks your heart?” I remember sitting there and all of a sudden I couldn’t get Light of the Village out of my head. I left that day and still couldn’t shake the feeling that LOV was my answer to that question. The children that we serve here at Light of the Village deserve more than what life has given them. But when you interact with them on a day-to-day basis you wouldn’t think that their lives are missing anything. Yes, they have struggles. It’s true, they may not always have the best attitudes. And yes, they come from broken homes. But they also love hard and greet you with the most beautiful smiles every morning.
I’ve learned so much from our kids this summer. They’ve taught me that I can go and do what God calls me to. That I’m loved by Him. That God is present and active in the darkest of places. That my relationships with my family and friends are precious. And that I should be strong and courageous, because the Lord is with me wherever I go. And I hope that they’ve learned this from me as well. The children that I’ve met and gotten to know this summer will always be in my heart. Each of them for more than one reason. And I can’t imagine what it is going to be like to have to say goodbye to them all, especially my older girls. This has truly been the most rewarding summer and I’m so grateful that I got to come alongside a ministry that I hold so near to my heart.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2 & 3