We just spent four days in the mountains of Gatlinburg, TN with our students at the Crossroads Winter Conference. I had been anticipating this trip, looking forward to spending time with our students and our volunteers. While I don’t believe that events are the answer to our students spiritual growth. I do believe it can be part of the process. There is just something about getting away from the influence and normal routine of life that we stop and actually listen to God.
Only one problem the first full day I got miserably sick. I couldn’t lead small group, didn’t go to the conference any the next day. Just laying around in the room, hugging the toilet. Not benefiting anyone. Then it was time to leave. I was well enough to drive and 45 minutes from home we had a flat tire. Now to any other youth group this would be awesome. Some reason students love breaking down. It’s fun, it adds to the memories, but for this youth group this is a memory of every trip. The bus breaking down. If it’s not an alternator, a flat tire, an alternator, or a flat tire, or the alternator, it will be something. So there we were sitting on the side of the ride, I was sick, tired, ready to see my family and my bed. Then I was convicted of my selfish pity party. —–HAITI—-When I put my problems side by side to the people in Haiti, I realized I had nothing to complain about. Absolutely nothing. Homes destroyed, lives lost, children missing, parents missing. A complete and utter destruction of anything and everything these people ever had or known, which wasn’t much to begin with. I no longer hate that bus or that tire. I am very grateful that we are now home, no one was hurt. We had another youth group pass by with room on their bus for most of our students and were able to shuttle the rest home.
Try and do a side by side comparison of your problems right now with the events in Haiti. How’s that working out for you? Talk about proper perspective. Despite the fact that I was sick the majority of the trip and gave practically no spiritual guidance, God did some amazing things. Our volunteers stepped up and God did a great work. Our students responded to the Gospel in great ways. God taught me this weekend these are His students and this is His ministry. There were 75 salvations and $16,000 raised for Haiti missions. I would say that’s a pretty awesome weekend.