February 28, 2012
One of my favorite moments of today happened while prayer walking through Red Hill from Middle Camp to Upper Camp. A group of about five 3 year olds came running full force towards us with their arms extended and wide grins on their faces. My heart was so encouraged! Hope is alive in Red Hill. In the midst of the struggles, there are children running around with smiles, laughter, and joy. My absolute favorite part about coming back year after year, is seeing first hand how the investment of Living Hope in the lives of children and families grows and grows and grows the hearts of His people. It matters. My first year traveling here, looking around at one of my first Kids Clubs, I thought – these children are the future of Red Hill. Through the Living Right program, Living Hope is raising up the leaders of tomorrow. Tears are literally coming to my eyes now as I realize that I am privileged and honored to be a part of God’s plan for Red Hill, in the week that I get to spend with them each year and from an ocean away throughout the year. We get to participate in God’s plan to raise up these leaders – children with Jesus living in their hearts. I get to see kids who are now teens, who were 8, 9, 10 years old when I first met them. Six, 7, 8 year olds were babies when I first met them! And they know me. And I know them. And they know that the reason I keep coming back is because I love them. And they know that I pray for them all year. My drive to work each morning is about the time that Kids/Teen Club is happening. I pray for them right along with my babies at school as I make my way to work each day. I am excited to think about how I will get to see those little bitty 3 year olds grow up and grow to love Jesus. These children are learning to dream big because they know that with Christ, all things are possible. It really matters that we are here and that we keep coming back. It’s a testament to the love of Christ that unites the Church, regardless of differences in geography or culture. I love that! It matters that Lesli is here, living real life in Red Hill day in and day out. Her relationships allow us to stay connected in real and meaningful ways all year to the community of Red Hill that we love so much. Her obedience to GO has deepened and strengthened our relationship with Living Hope and the precious people in Red Hill in ways that we could only have imagined, and that are only possible by BEING here. It matters that we come alongside and say, we are here to do whatever it is that you need us to do to help further your ministry, and ultimately our Father’s Kingdom. We’re here to stop rain from pouring into your meeting place for Club, to prepare and help plant your garden, to encourage you and love you, to sing songs and dance with you, to pray with you, for you, and over you, to share the Word with you, to share life with you. It matters.
- Written by Emily Simpson