God placed a burden on my heart about the youth that are now too old for KIC. By God’s grace, we were able to start a monthly youth gathering for them in the community that were (and not limited to) past KIC attendees. We sent out all the forms to the youth that we already knew with the hope that they will come out. and . There was so much joy upon on that day when we were able to reconnect with the three youth that came. We played games, ate food, and did devotions together.
During devotion time, there was lots of sharing by all three of them. The devotion was about God’s presence when times get rough with the topic verse being from the book of James.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
As a side note,I originally had a different devotion planned beforehand that talked about God’s promises. However, on the day of, God led me to choose this one. This topic about trials was a relatable topic because we all go through hard times in some way. I was shocked at the vulnerability that was presented. Our supposedly 15 minute devo turned into an hour long sharing and discussion. They all talked about past bullying experiences, their anger and resentment towards their bullies, and also fear. The things that they’ve done and things that were done to them, I would not have expected them to openly share with us. Usually, from what I know of them, they would keep it to themselves.
Everything was related back to Jesus and they were reminded that even when Jesus was undergoing the suffering before being nailed to the cross, he never lashed out in anger or called upon any angels in spite. He was living in the flesh just like us, yet he did not condemn those who persecuted him. Upon that realization, the 3 youths were in awe of that because the natural tendency (or ‘fair’ way) would be to retaliate by fighting back or plotting some kind of payback.
God really opened up our eyes and hearts that evening. For me, even though there were only three that showed up, it was God’s plan because it was such a small group that this kind of deep sharing could take place. Now the next step is to discern from God how we can continue journeying with them through their junior-high/high school years.