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Posts Tagged ‘Christian youth’

You have to stop and read this! Cassidy is a young member of the Body of Christ, but her voice is already powerful and the Spirit of God is strong in her.  And she tells the truth.  She is special to us for many reasons, but let’s just all give thanks for her and for all the other teens who really love God with all their heart! Their devotion and commitment encourage our hope  for tomorrow.

20130621_171423Teenager. The word teenager makes some people nervous.  Loud, strange music. Weird clothes.  Completely different vocabulary.  Teenagers have the reputation of being concerned about clothes, popularity, dating, reputation and having fun. But if you’ve spent time with teenagers at The Hills lately, I think you’ll be surprised! And I mean surprised in a good way! Most of the students I know are concerned about the world—we want to make a difference. We care about friends, family, school, making the most of our lives and even missions. We want to stand out but not for our clothes or our music or even for what we say. We want to stand out because of what we do.  We want our lives to reflect Christ and we want to make Him look good. We aren’t afraid to do big things for God and we love being at a church that encourages us to dream big!

I was born into a family that loves the church and loves international mission work.  I’m 14 years old and I’ve been to 11 countries on 5 continents to share Jesus with people who don’t know Him. My parents and my 2 younger brothers and I went on a Let’s Start Talking project to Italy this past summer where we helped people practice English using the Bible—we went with 2 of our friends who also go to The Hills. Last summer I was on a team to Rwanda with several families from The Hills. God has definitely given me lots of adventurous ways to serve Him with our church family.  And each adventure has helped me grow closer to Him.

In July of 2011, I went on a 3 week LST project with my mom, my brothers and some family friends to Natal, Brazil.  Let me confess something…I was a brat.  I had just turned 12 years old and, honestly, I had not been very kind to my family for a while.  I don’t know why but I was just always frustrated with them and my brothers were really, really annoying to me all the time.  I left the USA dreading this non-stop time with my family. I don’t know exactly what happened to me on our mission trip but I came back changed.  I returned loving our time together and being grateful for my family. I had been baptized a couple of years earlier but the Holy Spirit was really working on my heart during those 3 weeks.

I had been on several mission trips before this one but this would be my very first time to read the Bible alone with people.  There I sat, 12 years old, across from 5 different non-Christians ranging in age from a 11-year-old Brazilian boy to a 52-year-old woman who was practicing Spiritism. I didn’t know it but my mom would sit across the room praying for me, reminding herself that the Spirit in me was stronger than anything in this woman.  Maybe that’s the beauty of being young and innocent—I wasn’t intimidated at all—only the usual nervousness of meeting someone new and sharing Jesus with them.  The Bible says that God can use the weak and overlooked of this world to show His wisdom and power (1 Corinthians 1).  Who would choose a 12-year-old bratty girl to share Jesus with a Spiritist over 4 times older? God, of course!

If you want to change your child or grandchild’s life, take them to do mission work.  You don’t even have to go to another country! There are people in this city who don’t know Jesus! There are people in your neighborhood who don’t have hope! And if you can take them to another country, go! There is something life-changing about spending every day for 3 weeks focused on the Good News of Jesus. It’s hard to be unkind to your family when you’ve read the story of Jesus with people all day.  It’s tough to be a brat after you’ve shared your faith with a stranger. And when you read about how great God’s love is, you want to love people even more.

Even little brothers.

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