You think this is glitzy- standing in front of these sweet kids, all eyes on me, their full undivided attention. But the truth is I was as far outside of my comfort zone as I was from my home in Jacksonville, Florida. Way out. I thrive on familiarity and there was none on this trip. Foreign country. Foreign language. Foreign food. Different time zones. Non American accommodations. And I'm an introvert! I was interacting with people all day long and many of them I have never met before. Stretched would be an understatement. I was thoroughly uncomfortable. My first night as I lay awake under my mosquito net, the truth of God's gracious nature smacked me. This is precisely what Jesus did in coming to redeem us. He gave up luxury, comfortability, familiarity, and safety for us. He extended Himself beyond those things to get us what we needed.
My favorite part of the trip was the moment before I stood up to talk. It all just caught me in the throat. I get to be a part of making these kids skillful in the execution of the Word, helping them understand who they are and what that means for how strongly they can and must live their lives. I get to put tools in their hands that make them influencers, builders, and restorers for the Kingdom of God. If that ain't beautiful, I don't know what is.