Summer Reflections & Fall Excitment

How has your summer been? Are you ready for fall?

In answering those questions I would say, “Summer has been good, but busy. And fall is coming, ready or not!” 

If you bear with me, I’d like to share a couple of summer highlights and something I’m looking forward to as fall approaches.

The first is about our Igniter trips, one to LifeChange Camp with our middle school students and the other a mission trip to Children’s Haven International with our high school students. 

The lingering reflection I have from middle school camp is a statement our speaker Daniel Yoder said in one of his messages about being “Set Free,” which was our theme for the week. He said, “Don't tell your problems to God, but tell your problems about our God.”

In the context of the talk he wasn’t saying we shouldn’t pray and present our petitions to God, but he was encouraging us to take the next step of knowing who God is and why knowing him can change our perspective on the problems we face, freeing us to face challenges with hope and trust in God. This was especially impactful as Daniel and his family have been in the middle of a family crisis for almost a year.

Daniel’s son, who was at camp as a camper, has been diagnosed with an inoperable and incurable brain tumor. As he shared the story it was evident that Daniel and his family had been living what he was teaching us.

This has been a summer practice for me, personally. As I encounter a challenge or problem, not only do I speak to God about what is happening, but I also have changed how I reengage the problem by asking God to show me how he sees my challenges. It is amazing how seemingly big challenges shrink when engaging a most holy, powerful, and loving God. 

The second summer highlight was our Reynosa Trip with the high school students. As a team of 28 we went to bless our friends at Children’s Haven through our presence and service.

It was an amazing trip to be a part of. The students worked so hard on different service projects we were given to do, and they served with gladness and joy. And then every afternoon, even when they were tired, they would play in the pool with the children.

The thing I’m still wrestling with and praying about is something Betsy Chacon said to our group as she was giving us a tour of the facility. She was talking about how the support base for Children’s Haven is aging and many have already gone to be with Jesus, and she challenged our group by saying, “They were known as the greatest generation because of their sacrifices and generosity, what kind of generation will you be?”

That has stuck with me because she was articulating a need and challenging our students to consider what they will be known for.

Since our trip I’ve been praying the next generation, and our students specifically, might desire to join God, not only in what He is doing in their own lives, but how they might come alongside the ministry of Children’s Haven in support of what God is doing there. 

For the fall, I’m looking forward to launching back into a new semester and season of Igniter this coming Sunday!

As I think and plan ahead for this next season I’m reminded once again how important Jesus is. I’m excited to see how God will continue to point people to him so they might receive and believe in his name and be given eternal life. I’m grateful I get to join God in doing that. 

Grace and peace,
Pastor Loren