By: Danielle French
10:40 p.m. – My eyes want to crumble. My body is ready to shatter with just one touch. I’ve never felt so drained. I’ve never felt so exhausted. Yet, I’m content. I’m not worried about how tomorrow goes, or what I’ll have to do.
I feel at peace with the fact that it is an honor to serve here and build these relationships. It is an honor to reflect Christ’s light onto all of these children, teens and adults. It is an honor to feel like I am about to collapse, but still feel the Holy Spirit working in me, pushing me through it. It is an honor spending the summer working my soon to be shattered body, and slowly fill in the cracks.
Fill in the cracks with laughter once the tears are shed. Fill in the cracks with tickle monsters when it’s time to put kids to bed. Fill in the cracks with the conversations that come after a girl gets heartbroken. Fill in the cracks with hugs from a child who was a stranger a week before. Fill in the cracks with quiet time when my body needs a break, and prayer when I start to lose hope. With smiles on these once broken faces, that I now get to see every day. With God telling me to keep going, to keep giving all that I have like Paul did. To sacrifice my life because Jesus did for me.
Maybe I had to be completely broken apart so that I could be put back together with a life that has these people in it. Put together in a life where faith beats fear every time. Where hope beats discouragement. Where peace beats worry every time. Where Jesus beats my pride every time.
My eyes want to crumble, my body ready to shatter with just one touch. I’ve never felt so thankful. I’ve never felt so complete.
“Here am I, all of me. Take my life, it’s all for Thee.”
This past week has been the busiest so far, but also the best. So many things have happened each day I wouldn’t even have the time to type them, but I here are a few things. A team from Kentucky came to do a VBS that we did from 1p.m. to 4p.m. everyday.
While at the park, I had to break up two fights. There is a missions team called “World Changers” that have been here all week remodeling the house we are staying in, and we cannot get anywhere or anything.
We had the Block Party last night (Thursday) so we have been setting up all week for that. Every morning we babysat the Christophers until about 9 a.m. (which meant getting up around 4 a.m.) We also have to drive the church van around constantly to pick up and drop people off everywhere. Safe to say, we have always had something to do.
This week has also been heartbreaking. Richard, the 12-year-old whom I have talked about before, caused the two fights I had to break up, and got in a third one when I was not around. Seeing this side of him, how he handles certain things, has sincerely broken my heart. We did calm him down though, and yesterday we had a discussion about heaven and God. I got to explain creation and the sin of man to him, but by the time I got to the Good News, he changed the subject. I am grateful for what I was able to say, and hope I get to share more with him.
Another heartbreaking event from this week, is that multiple people have committed suicide from the bridges in Pittsburgh, which is right down the road. Also, one of the girls here that we are trying to grow close with is going through a difficult time, where she is losing the only friends she has. Another heartbreaking thing is that one of the girls from 7/11 told me she is going to stop coming to church because her mom said she doesn’t have to believe in God if she doesn’t want to. The heartbreaking part is that this girl is 13, and has already been baptized, but she was never saved.
She doesn’t truly believe in God or want to submit her life to Him, but was baptized because her friends were. There are multiple people in the church like this. It’s not just the people outside of the church who are lost, but even the kids who have been raised in the church. Heartbreaking. Heartwarming things happened this week too though. Last night, 15 people got baptized! I also grew closer to some of the kids that aren’t in the church, and when they run up and hug me when they see me outside, it makes all my exhaustion disappear and motivates me. When I don’t want to keep going, but keep going to serve and be selfless anyway, those heavenly smiles are such a great reward.
In my Bible study the other day, it talked about how Joshua wholly gave himself to the Lord. That is my motto, my motivation throughout the day. When I feel like stopping or giving up, I ask myself “are you wholly giving yourself to the Lord?” and wow, does it change my perspective. I challenge you with this question. Are you wholly giving yourself to the Lord?
Danielle French is serving as a Go Now missionary in McKees, Pennsylvania.