Today marks the graduating day of the first ever Teen Bible School! Congrats to all the grads! You all deserved it! Inspired by what we learned and experienced throughout our very own Bible School, we wanted to create something similar for the teens in our region. A group of us got together and began having meetings scheduled once a week every week to make our first ever #BethanyBibleSchoolTEENEDITION!
I gotta say, being a part of the team that made it happen is really probably one of my greatest accomplishments! I think that above all else, I kinda got an idea of what it means to truly minister for a living. The moment you’re not 100% in the game- you slowly start to lose it.
There were times when I wanted to give up, and there were times when I honestly wasn’t sure why I was putting up with all of it; losing sleep, getting impatient, sacrificing my free time, and then some. But there were moments throughout every week that reminded me of why I was there!
Let’s take a beat for a second. Here’s some background of BBS Teen Edition. 117 students. It’s one month long, they have a new teacher every single week (sometimes two per week), they sleep on campus and spend every waking moment together, they have absolutely no form of social media on them (that’s right, we take their phones), they have lectures every morning for three hours, worship every morning, activities every day, student led services, evening services, cell groups, outreaches, field trips, and tons more! All of this we cram into one month!… and of course we feed them! We feed them like crazy!
You can see why it might have been so stressful putting all that together!
Honestly, for the first year, we couldn’t expect it to run perfectly. Personally, I’m not sure what it was like from a student perspective, but seeing it all play out from our side (the staff side), seeing the way we wanted it to be and the way it actually turned out- I can’t help but wonder how is it that it still works out?! There was so much that went wrong, or completely opposite from what we wanted it to be, but somehow, it all worked out!
Only one way! God! Without God, even this first year would’ve been a complete disaster! The only reason we made it to the end was because God held it together for us! It wasn’t with our own efforts that we got this far! In those moments of discouragement, I’d walk in on one of the greatest worship sessions ever!
I remember one of the days (I think it was a Wednesday) I felt just completely unmotivated to volunteer at all anymore, and I just asked God, “Why?!…Why am I here?!” Surely there was a reason… and nothing. I decided I would take a walk to our prayer room. So here’s the layout. This is a completely isolated room, complete with throw pillows, couches, tissues, candles, dim lighting provided by our very own Christmas lights, a ghetto radio with an aux cord for your worship music for those who want it, and in the far left corner of the room there lay a small treasure chest full of hand-written anonymous prayer requests. Man when I read those prayer requests, I understood that that’s why I’m here. I’m not here for me, and though I am here for God, He put me here for them, for those students. For the ones that wrote things like:
- “I am being physically abused at home. I have no one to turn to. Please pray for me.”
- “I am sexually confused…”
- “I am experiencing loneliness and depression. I don’t see a reason to live. Why am I here?”
- “I am addicted to pornography and masterbation.”
- “I am suffering with insecurity. I see no value in myself. I don’t feel like I matter to anyone. If I disappear, no one would even notice.”
- “Please pray for my mom, she’s very sick.”
- “My family is very far from God…”
- “I have sin in my life that I can’t escape. I suffer with pornography. Anytime I am alone on the computer I am tempted to do things. It’s a sin I can’t escape from. Please pray.”
- “I feel like I am at a point in my life where I should have everything figured out, but I don’t. I just need God to guide me.”
- “I know God put me here for a reason, but I don’t know what it is. I know He has a bigger plan for me after this Bible School. I just hope he uses me!”
and sooooo many others like these.
When I read these prayer requests, I felt anguish in my heart. My heart was broken for theirs. They needed this Bible School; they needed this opportunity to get closer to God, to get to know Him personally. Yes, it may have been a bit of a struggle for all of us, but the struggle was nothing compared to what some of those students were going through. A price worth paying for!
A Message to the Grads!
Alright Teen Bible School 2015!!! You did it! You guys had your fair share of struggles, your fair share of chapters to write, your trials and temptations and all that other good stuff, but you did it! God didn’t bring you here on accident. He has called on you and you answered, and He will NOT fail to use you! Your journey has only begun! You thought this past month was hard? Well you don’t know what’s coming! God will continue to break you down and build you up and prepare you for the ultimate battle out there in the real world. God has called us all to be evangelists! Whether it’s at home, at school, or at work, where ever we go, may the Spirit of the Lord be there too! It was truly a privilege and a blessing to watch as each of you grew deeper and deeper in love with God! I can’t wait to see the plans He has for you! I hope that you all say “hi” to me if you see me around, and don’t hesitate to call any of us staff member or mentors (even the security team) for any help or even just prayer! We love you all and we are sooooo proud of you! God bless you all!