Wow. I don’t think I can really express how full my heart is. Have you ever found so much joy in something that you literally want to spend your whole time engaging in it? That’s how I feel right now. I don’t want the overwhelming presence of the Spirit to leave me when I start to fall back into my normal routine. I pray that God continues to remind me each day of the fullness I experienced over this Fall Break Missions Trip.
To give a little background into why I am at such a spiritual high, I’ll start from the beginning. Myself, as well as eight other student athletes here at Lipscomb, decided to use our Fall Breaks to serve and expand the Kingdom of God. We had the opportunity to serve children in two different communities built for low-income residents as well as refugees. In knowing this, all eight of us just said yes to the plans God had in store. I personally did not know how the weekend was going to play out. I had previously been on two international mission trips, and this was my first domestic trip here in the States. What was so incredible was that we were getting the opportunity to serve right in our own backyard! My expectations going into the trip were at a low.
I didn’t think that serving domestically would look as extreme as it had been going abroad and I surely did not think God would use this weekend, in particular, to draw me even more in love with Him. But man was I wrong.
We started the weekend by giving a tour of Lipscomb to kids who are probably not thinking about attending college in the future. This was the first place I saw God this weekend. Although they wouldn’t admit it, these kids desired attention. Despite the fighting and disrespect, I had an opportunity to love. After all, for most of those kids, I would be the only glimpse of Jesus they would see that week. Upon saying our goodbyes, we traveled to a lake house where we would be spending a couple of nights together as a team. The time we spent together as a team was the second place I saw God in this trip. The first night set a pace for the weekend that was unlike any other I had experienced on a team before.
I had the opportunity to share my testimony and chains were broken off my life.
After sharing, my team took the time to pour back into me, sharing truths about what they had just heard and showering me in love and grace. Even in my time of shame and brokenness, God was intentional.
The next morning, we were given an exercise: we were told to take an hour of solitude and write. Write a letter to God for some time, and then respond to ourselves as if we were God. And man, did this exercise totally rock my world. God revealed Himself to me in ways I had never understood before. It was powerful. After a quick breakfast and time of prayer we headed out to start our second day together. This time we were going to serve in the refugee community. We spent hours playing with kids and their families, exhausting ourselves until the very last minute. This was the third place I saw God in our trip. All that was rushing through me was the Spirit reminding me that “this is what heaven is going to look like.” Over thirty nations are represented just in that apartment complex. How amazing is that? Kids are playing with other kids that don’t even speak the same language, but we were all brought together by one thing: Jesus.
After the first day of serving in the community went so well, we decided to go back. This time we were going to bring a party. Coloring books, face paint, nail polish, pizza, music, and games were brought to make sure these kids had a good time. We, again, exhausted ourselves playing, laughing, running, and spinning with the children. But God wasn’t done. The next morning, on Sunday, we showed up to what felt like a ghost town. At 8:30AM absolutely no one was in the streets. We had decided to partner with a local church and bring the kids that wanted to go to a service that would start at 9. Expecting little to no one, we showed up, nervous about if kids were going to come. And then, they came. This was the fourth place I saw God this weekend.
We never had to sit kids down and teach them about the love of Jesus, I truly believe they saw His love in the way we loved them throughout the course of the weekend. And such a love is contagious.
So, they said yes. We took a group of the kids to church and let God do His thing.
The most beautiful part of this weekend is that it’s not over. These groups of kids are fifteen minutes down the street from us. Some of our team just went to revisit and play the other night! God has planted a seed in our hearts and watering that seed comes through serving. These kids desire to be loved on. This is not their home, but they are living into a life of freedom. This weekend was a beautiful picture of what it looks like to fully surrender to the Lord, and I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to serve with such an amazing group. I love you all!
“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
Written by: Lindsay Brent, Junior, Women’s Soccer