When I first became involved with TCM, God challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and asked me to rely on Him. Three years ago, I started as a volunteer at St. James Town and I had the opportunity to serve as a male volunteer for junior high students. Prior, I had never worked with teens, and I always thought ministering to them would be easy and similar to post-secondary students which I’m used to leading. I envisioned that they would be really attentive, know the deep answers, know how to pray, and know who God was in their lives. However, this was not the case, and God challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. Whether it was thinking of different strategies, trying new things, or having more patience to see things come to fruition. I remember for months, I prayed and often questioned my purpose, role, and whether it was a mistake for me to serve the group of boys. In my doubt, God urged me to press on, not to give up, let me know it’s okay, and to step out of my comfort zone so that I could share God’s message to these boys. Despite not feeling ready or chosen, God used this situation to remind me that He is the one that comforts me and that I can always rely on Him. That God’s love is always unfailing and He’s always there to support us.
I wanted to share my past as a preface to God’s work in me, and how it parallels to where I am now. This year, we’ve been going through the book of Matthew, where we learned about what God’s kingdom is like, how it is experienced, how people responded to it, and what is Jesus’ purpose as our king. While teaching the kid’s bible, we focus on having application that’s centered around the gospel message. I found that as I prepared these lessons, God was reminding me who He was and how much Jesus loved us through his sacrifice. Since being a part-time outreach worker, it has brought on the similar challenges and worries. Despite being familiar with working with children, I worried about building relationships with them and their parents, strategies to teach them, and seeing things bear fruit. In my doubt, God provided. He gave me the courage, energy, patience, wisdom, and words to minister to the kids and their families. Time after time, I’m reminded of God’s unfailing love in my situations.
As I depart from TCM at the end of May, I still have anxious feelings that are similar to when I first volunteered. My worries often come from thinking about the future of the community and what it looks like. How will the kids be like when they continue to grow? Will there be someone to teach them about the gospel? Will they be following the right path? In all honesty, I don’t know, and this is something I need to trust God with. Our relationships with God are personal after all, and wherever we meet and accept Him is in His time. I’m reminded through serving at TCM that everything is not by the works of human hands. God is always with us because of His unfailing love for His children.