Wednesday, August 18
We gathered in the Akron (PA) Mennonite Church to celebrate. More than a 100 young people from all over the world had completed their orientation for short-term service and would be headed soon to locations in North America and all over the world.
Global Service Learning director Chris Landes told participants that we gather together to express our oneness in Christ. Later, he told the youth that he had heard alot about transformation during the week and he recalled the story of the Apostle Paul.
Saul's world was turned upside down on the road to Damascus when Jesus met him on the way. Chris said it would be like that for these youth, too, on their journey. They will be transformed and will have opportunities to help transform others as they gain a fuller understanding of God's perspective of the world.
Priscila from Brazil is going to Mozambique. She said it was amazing to be with so many youth who share the same faith. She urged the youth to let love be their language and peace their tool.
Jordan from the United States is on his way to Syria. He talked about serving and learning and he said it wasn't difficult for him to imagine what God has in mind for His kingdom after spending time with this group.
Jean from Zambia will be working in a Mennonite school in eastern Pennsylvania. She urged her fellow service workers to remember that, no matter where they go, they are on a mission for God.
As I sat among the crowd and sang and worshipped with these youth, I decided that transformation wasn't too strong of a word to describe what is happening. My prayer is that we will all be transformed, across our communities and our churches, and these youth may have a significant role to play in helping that to happen.
Thanks be to God!