DOE RIVER GORGE!
We were able to bring over fifty youth with us to celebrate the start of LXI! It was an awesome day to spend together as one big family. Thank you for making this happen!
Stepping out of the door at The Rock Ministry on Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia is a place where the brokenness of the world cannot be ignored or desensitized. The group of LXI young people were at first shocked by the deeper brokenness that was visible on the faces of local men and women who are battling addiction and other unhealthy lifestyles.
This was the day of our trip to Philadelphia where our group's eyes were opened to the effect that the Fall has had on God's creation. We had the opportunity to pray for, serve, and build relationships with some of these people, and our youth took charge to get to know their stories as well as share God's love.
At one point, we got the opportunity to walk down to the corner of Kensington and Summerset Avenues. This corner, we later found out, is one of the worst drug and prostitution centers of the country. Our kids wanted to hand out food and drinks to the crew of people that were hanging out there. I was at first apprehensive due to seeing drugs being bought and sold earlier that day.
As we got closer, something amazing happened. Many of the hardened faces lit up with smiles and laughter as our young men and women said "Hello" and asked them if they would like anything to eat or drink. As I followed behind, many of the people gave me a handshake and said they were glad to see kids doing something positive in the community, and that they wished someone would have done this for them when they were younger.
When we walked back through the crowd, everyone was very appreciative for the willingness of our young people to step onto their corner. For a moment, there was light shining from the faces of unlikely people in a dark place.
Our group learned this day that there is a lot of brokenness in the world, but behind all brokenness is a creation meant to display God's glory and love. Every person ever created was made in the image of God. That image has been distorted by sin, but God through Jesus, is restoring His image in us again.
I am thankful that He chose to use a group of young people from Johnson City, Tennessee to be a part of His restoration of broken lives this day in Philadelphia. Now, when we look at people, we see past their brokenness into a heart that wants to be loved unconditionally by their Heavenly Father.
2 Corinthians 5:16,
School is a war zone. It is a mess of hormones and insecurities. Students are searching for their identity. They are looking for something to make whole the hole in their soul, but are finding their coverings and masks are insufficient.
The truth is that we are all hiding a big, ugly mess behind our self-fashioned masks. But there is hope! Jesus loves us so much that He sees through our faulty masks and provides His blood as the better covering for us.
When we are fully covered by Jesus’ blood, oh how He will use us to change the world. Our prayer and hope for our students this fall is that they show their real, raw selves and run to God for the complete covering of His son Jesus.
Oh, how He will use these teens to change the world. What a shining light they will be in the midst of darkness. Oh, how He will use them to change Science Hill, Liberty Bell, Keystone, Carver, Clark Manor, brothers, sisters, and parents.
Pray for us as leaders and staff members take off the masks so that our youth can see Christ is strong in our weaknesses. Pray for the hearts of our youth to be softened. Pray they would fully know the love of Jesus covers them completely.
PRAY WITH US
Thank you Lord we are one-third on the way to being fully supported each month.Please continue to pray that God will provide what we need each month.
Volunteers and Leaders
One of our focuses over the summer has been discipling and equipping other leaders to step into the lives of youth. It has been awesome to see the Lord work through clarity, commitment, and community! Pray that our Milligan and ETSU volunteers will come back this fall with a renewed passion to love on LXI youth, and that the staff will be able to step into the lives of college leaders empower and encourage them.
As our kids step back into school, they are also stepping back into a whole world of brokenness and temptation in friendships, self-image, sports, bullies, gossip, grades, and more. Please pray for holistic reconciliation for them during this school year.
HOW TO GIVE
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Po Box 1784
Johnson City, TN 37605
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