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One Day in the Heat Posted 7.09.2015

My mind wandered back.  Way back.  I used to take youth groups to Mexico regularly, back in the day.  So heading out to Thermal this week brought back some dear memories of ministry over a couple of decades ago.  It was exhausting back then, but lives changed and students could taste ministry and sharpen their skills as they served the community. 

 

Life is different now and the challenges are often closer to home.  This week Christie and I drove out to Thermal to visit a VBS in a packing shed.  Not just any packing shed – a modern, air-conditioned “shed” that had been transformed into a huge space just for Vacation Bible School.  There were a couple of highlights for us.

 

First, getting back to the desert has eliminated any “June gloom” moments of despair.  I will take the gloom and naturally chilly air to the manufactured coolness required to enjoy the triple digit heat.  I don’t miss that at all.  The blue sky was amazing, I must admit.

 

Second, we got to spend some time with a gal who Tesoro Ministries is putting to work ministering to the teenage girls in the area.  She’s a solid, godly young woman, whose name is Nancy. This gal has a ministry perspective that could change the Coachella Valley – at least the eastern end of it.  She loves Jesus with all her heart and understands the culture and is able to take God’s Word and bring it down to the level of these young daughters of the farm workers.  She’s amazing.

 

Third, and the biggest highlight bar none was this:  we had a team of youth ministering faithfully and joyfully and enthusiastically while sleeping on the floor of a gym.  They willingly served Jesus – and the reports of their impact have made it back to Palos Verdes before they did.  What an amazing group of students and leaders.  They loved children.  They invested in teens.  They never gave up and honored God. 

 

So, well done, team.  Well done.

 

There is a culture just three hours from home, which needs the love of Jesus.  And the best way to experience that love and grace is to see it in us.  Personally.  Graciously.  Sacrificially.  Lives are changing out there – and I saw the evidence up close.

 

I’m excited about the ministry.  And I’m stoked about our students.  I’m amazed at what God did through them this week, but I’m even more in awe of what He is going to do in the years ahead as relationships are built.  It is a harvest field that is white – it is ready to be harvested for God’s glory.  With a partner like Tesoro Ministries, we can invest in changing lives and culture for eternity.

 

In the midst of the heat.  In the midst of poverty.  In the midst of abuse.  In the midst of a culture not our own.  God is alive.  God is on the throne.  Let’s open our eyes and join the work that God is doing.  I’m just stoked!

 


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