(I wanted to write this... very quickly, not edited (sorry Emily), and in not as much detail as I would hope, but just so you know... IT happened!!!)
In the words of my friend, wise woman, intentional, and Capernaum/Life Guru Lyn TenBrink, "Dreams do come true!"
LAST Night was a DREAM come TRUE!!!
AND my friends... The LORD made it ALL possible!!!
We have 6-7 Leaders! (1 para pro/Director of Special Needs Ministry, 1 social worker, 1 former Capernaum Leader!)
We have 4-5 Buddies!
We have Ward Church... Who has been nothing short of AMAZING... They continue to say, "Whatever YOU need!!!" SERIOUSLY!
We have donors who have said YES... and to you I continue to say THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND LAST Night... we had 10 FRENDS walk through those doors!!! 10 FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!
About 4-5 years ago I knew the Lord was asking me to work with friends with disabilities! I knew it... I had a sense that this was a population of people the Lord was asking me to be with, to love, to learn from, and to share Jesus with! I said out loud to some people my hope, prayer, and dream... little did I know the Lord had other plans!!!
There were BIG and SMALL things along the way... Buddies in Novi with Debbie, Becky, and Devaney (friendships I TREASURE!!!), subbing at Novi High School, Potter's Wheel at Ward, Capernaum Friends at YL Camp... Ways to be in this community, to learn, to see Jesus clearly, and to be be called over and over by God!!!
It has been a longer road to get here, but this is bigger than my hope and dream to be in the lives of friends with disabilities! God is on the move!!! I thought it would be Young Life Capernaum in Novi, but little did I know God wanted it to be all over Metro Detroit... Available to students in Livonia, Farmington, Novi, and Walled Lake!!!
Last night I was a bundle of nerves... I couldn't believe it was going to happen!
Sherry set up EVERYTHING before anyone else had even arrived... I showed up with game items, crafts, paper, and drinks... I couldn't believe my eyes!!! My friends, SHE HAD OFFICIAL name tags SHE MADE!!! Table cloths, tiny Christmas Trees, computer ready to go... It was Amazing!
THEN our first friends arrived at 6:15... THEY WERE HERE!!! And 10 of them walked through the doors last night!!!
Sue welcomed friends and parents... The PERFECT person to do that because she knew like 1/2 of the students from her time in the Farmington schools!!! AMAZING God!
WE had the BEST High School Buddies, and I got to watch my friend Michael who I have known since 7th Grade spend time with a new friend Colin... Michael was Awesome! For an hour and half he showed Colin Jesus by pursuing him, loving him, singing with him, and getting him more marshmallow Santas than Colin could hold or put in his pockets! AND Holly, Michael's sister, who is in 10th Grade... was called, "The Coolest Girl here" by one of our Capernaum Friends!!! I mean COME ON!!! Amazing GOD!!! My two high school friends who are giving up their Thursday Night to be with friends with disabilities... AND they were a HIT!!!
Our Team Leader Mary, who was a YL Capernaum Leader in Ohio, gave an incredible talk!!! AND she brought her fish which I LOVED!!! ANIMALS at club... My heart was SOARING!!! AND Mary made us OFFICIAL Binders... Team LEADER of My DREAMS!!! Amazing God!
Another leader, Lauren who I have talked about Capernaum with for a long time now, worked a FULL day, and drove from Royal Oak to be with our Capernaum friends! Who also asked her if she was on Facebook... A real sign of having FUN with someone!!! Amazing God!
Taylor, a Rockstar Young Life Leader in Belleville, brought two of her high school friends to help out as Buddies! I mean seriously... ABOVE and Beyond!!!!!! Amazing God!
Capernaum Friends danced, sang, Made Human Christmas Trees, heard about Jesus, laughed, ate pizza, requested songs for January, took LOTS of photos... and it all happened from 6:30-8:00 on a Thursday Night at Ward Church because God is bigger than I could have asked or imagined!!!
(I am starting to type with furry... I wish I could convey to YOU how much JOY was in that room!!! AND there is much more to say, but I have a conference call at 9:30am!!! HAHA!!!)
I will end with this... I did not know exactly how He would make it possible, but just that He would do it... YOU can trust our God! You can trust Him with your dreams, with your pain, and with your deepest hopes too!!!
AND more than anything... You can be BRAVE with Our God!
In May I was scared, nervous, and fearful about this position in Young Life... There were so many unknowns, what ifs, and hard moments of trust. This morning I am walking with a FULL heart! I am walking with absolute JOY, and a deep sense of gratitude... I am walking in the wake of HOW BIG our God is!!!
I am walking to the sound of Jingle Bells (which to me has never sounded SWEETER)... I am walking with eyes to see the BEAUTY Filled Life here on Earth and DREAMS that God makes possible... AND this is just the beginning!