Quitters never sin and sinners never quit?

That makes no sense, but, nevertheless. . . .

I just finished beginning to prepare for my Sunday night Bible study. Some of my readers may remember from a previous post that Tuan and I have been involved in the "kids" ministry at Mount Olive Pres for several years. We have always had a core group of covenant kids and a steady stream of kids drifting in and out. There's a remarkably transient segment of Mount Olive's population and our pastor there is so good about finding kids who need to come. Recently though, we've had a surge of pre-teen/teenage girls from the community faithfully attending. This has led to my undertaking a girl's Bible study with them, while Tuan is continuing in our Old Testament journey with the younger kids.

May I just say it is hard? The closer Sunday gets the more I dread going. My "girls" are a mix of two wasp (white anglo-saxon presbyterian) covenant children who attend private school and five to eight mostly African American girls from the community: broken homes, sketchy theology (if at all), difficult cultural differences . . . . The list goes on an on. To make it even more difficult, I have poor hearing and miss a lot that is said.

I chose our material in a hurry: Susan Hunt's Becoming a True Woman. It's ideal for covenant girls growing up in a church with a good Women's/Titus 2 ministry, but for most of my girls, I feel foolish even trying to explain that we are supposed to look at life with a "biblical framework: creation/fall/redemption". Nevertheless, we plug away at it.

Did I say I dread going? I would much rather nap all afternoon than get the kids up from naps at 3:30 in order to get to MO on time and deal with teenage girls. I have to fight the urge to dread Sundays because those are KidZone days. Why am I doing this? When is God going to bring a youthful energetic couple to MOPC so we can have our Sundays back? Is this even making sense to them?

The biggest question is: why do they keep coming back!? It boggles my mind. But the amazing thing is that even though up to the very point that we sit down around our table and I pray out loud that the Holy Spirit would open our eyes, ears and hearts so that we could see, hear and understand God's Word (while on the inside desperately pleading to God that he would help me in every way!), I am dreading it. But after we've prayed, even if the lesson is bumpy, I find that week after week there is some sort of encouragement during the lesson.

Sometimes it's just seeing that one of the girls is actually listening and making eye contact (!), other times it's just realizing that I am speaking but the words aren't my own, or hearing the girls pray for each other, recently we have seen a broken friendship on the mend. Amazingly, I find that the gospel spills out of my mouth every week--even when I haven't planned it. Each encounter with these girls could be my last. I wish I could shake them until they "get it" but I know that is the Holy Spirit's job.

I wish this was easier and that someone else would come and take over this ministry. Isn't that horribly sinful? God has given me such an opportunity for ministry and I want to throw it all away for longer naps and other selfish pursuits. So I ask you all to pray! Pray that seeds would be planted and perhaps reaped! Pray that amazing, miraculous, mighty things would happen in these girls lives! Our God is mighty and beyond our understanding. He can do ANYTHING! And please pray for me: for a different attitude, proper preparation, and a humble, repentant, unselfish heart. Oh, yes and for wisdom . . . . .


Alli Kat said...

I think, dear cousin, you'll find God has answered all your questions and pleas already. That young committed couple you long to see at MOPC? Isn't that you? You dread coming, and yet you are compelled to come by some force within you (the Spirit?).

Why do the girls keep coming? Because even though you know you aren't doing things perfectly, they know that someone is there for them, reliably, every Sunday afternoon, and that God meets them there, too. You are a pillar of continuity in a life that isn't predictable or safe.

Prayers? You got 'em, but I think recognizing that you need them and need an attitude adjustment means God is already working in your heart.

Runwithme said...

One year at VBS I thought I would entertain the kids with a juggling performance. I found that when I was flawless, the kids were not very interested, BUT, when I made a mistake and the pins collided in mid-air, they roared with laughter!
I WAS entertaining them, just not the way I had envisioned!
I try to remember that God can use my less-than-perfect efforts, and frequently does, to my amazement. Keep up the good work, both of you!