Last night at club we did something different. Instead of our normal routine, we changed the setup of the room to be two sides of chairs facing each other. Philip spoke from the center of the circle instead of from the stage and we got real. He read a series of statements and asked students to stand if the statement applied to them. There were statements like “Have you ever had to be the primary care giver for your younger siblings?” and “Have you ever drank or been drunk?” It was a time of raw honesty and vulnerability for us on staff as well as for our students. In the midst of standing, I thought to myself, look at all the students that now know that they are not alone. I live for those “me too” moments. It’s so easy for us as Christians to believe that we are the only one struggling with the person that we used to be.
That night it “just so happened” that one of our vans only made it through the pick-up route and wasn’t going to be able to be used for dropping the students off. That meant that at the end of the night, many of the staff and adult volunteers had to drop off students in our cars. The two ladies that I took home live in South East Roanoke and so we had a long time to talk. At first I put in some music, which I normally do and settled into what I thought might be a silent ride.
One of the students spoke up “Tonight was really serious”. The other student from the back chimed in “yeah, I actually started crying at one point”. Needless to say, I turned my music down and began silently praying that God would use this moment to reveal Himself to these girls.
Slowly we began to talk about the other questions and I began to tell them my story. How I too was sitting there on the verge of tears because of memories that I can’t get rid of a past sin that continues to haunt me even now in my “missionary-ness”. We got to talk about the way that satan tells us that we are alone and how through the exercise we did, we can clearly see that we aren’t. One of the students is new to the ministry and I wasn’t sure how much she was getting out of being here. My jaw dropped when she talked about how she had stood up for two of the statements and that her friends had started saying that she shouldn’t worry about her sin issue for various reasons but that she knows that it is sin and that she shouldn’t be doing what she’s doing. She gets it! I was so amazed at what God is doing in her life. As I dropped off the first student and drove towards that second student’s house, we began to talk about where she was spiritually. We also talked about the struggle that we share and about God’s forgiveness and grace. When I dropped her off, I so longed for our conversation to continue but was so grateful that God allowed me this glimpse into our students’ lives. And all because one of our vans broke down. God is so purposeful!