The Lesson That Changed My Life

I've been to Kenya Africa several times.
Every journey there brings it's own unique experience, but one in particular hands down took the biggest toll on the impact scale.
Maybe I already knew this...
But I will forever link to this journey the moment when it really hit home.

As our team sat around the living room of the missionary's home, we began to pray for a specific group of students whom we desired to attend the youth camp we were running. Our group leader made eye contact with me and asked if I would lead the prayer. 
Maybe it was a coincidence...
Maybe he felt like he should ask me...
Maybe he had a sense of what might happen next...
All I know is that I agreed, bowed my head, closed my eyes, and began to pray.

I like to pray simply, openly, and honestly. 
So, that's what I went for. 
But I wasn't prepared for what happened next.

I don't usually cry when I pray, but something about that moment overtook the typical.

The prayer I was asked to lead was one of sacrifice. 
Before we prayed, we were presented with the opportunity to give money that we weren't prepared to give...and the amount asked wasn't pocket change. 
The money was going to be used for the students who couldn't afford the camp. 
We believe so much in the potential of the camp to be used by God to change lives that we knew we couldn't let these students simply slip by. 
So...we prayed. 
As I lead the prayer, I simply asked that we would be convicted to not put our hope and focus on things in this world, but that our focus would be on what really matters (Matthew 6:19-22). 
But it was the ending of the prayer when God messed me up.

"God, we may not even see the impact of this money while here on earth. But when we get to the other side, we may see one of these students who is there because we gave...and in that'll be worth'll be worth it..."

As I prayed those words, God taught me a lesson that I will never forget...

It. Is. All. About. People.

The reason The Church exists...people.
The reason God places dreams and passions on your heart...people.
The only thing we can take from this earth...people.

The truth of the matter is, people need Jesus. 
They don't need more self-help books. 
They don't need more "              steps to a better life." 
They need a real connection with the one and only real God. 
Are these other things bad? No. 
Can God use them to reach people? Absolutely. 
He may ask you to use something like it. 
But the ultimate focus must remain to reach people and lead them to Jesus. 

It (whatever that looks like for you) is all about people...

God may ask you to plant a church.
Start a new                 .
Take a missions trip.
Write a song.
Write a book.
Start a blog.
Preach a sermon.
Play music.
Play with a child.
Give somebody the first hug they've ever received.
Start a movement.
Say hello to somebody who is desperately in need of a friend.
Give that homeless man or woman something to eat or a place to stay.
Adopt that child.
They are all good things, but they ALL must be done with the same focus...People.

When I returned home from my trip, I read the following text message from a friend of mine:
     You had just returned from some event or something you were doing and had a trailer full      
     of equipment, etc. that needed to be unloaded at a church. I was there to help you unload 
     and so were other people but I have no idea who they were. I didn't know the layout of 
     this church and you had to show me where to take all the stuff. Everyone had their arms 
     full of equipment to put away and you led us to this giant storage room where you kept 
     everything. It was packed from floor to ceiling with equipment, advertisements of 
     different things that you've done, etc. just a ton of things that represent things that you've 
     been a part of. We literally had to climb up shelves to try to put things away in there. I 
     kept telling you that this room needed to be cleared out, that you couldn't even see what 
     was in here, that there was just too much stuff. when I woke up I laughed because I 
     thought it was just a dream about how I was giving you hard time about not being 
     organized :) but I really felt the Lord put on my heart that it was about focus and not being 
     so overwhelmed by "the stuff" (and what it represents) that you can't see what you really 
     been called to. I hope I'm communicating this in a way that makes sense? 

It's all about people...


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