When I was a little girl I use to love singing this song, and as an intern at Contact this summer the lyrics have stayed on my heart. “Lord give me a missionary heart, though I’m young I want to do my part. To take your word to all the many children who have never heard, God so loved the world He gave His ONLY Son. On the cross of Calvary, He died for everyone. Rose again the third day and now He lives in Heaven, but He’ll soon be back again.”
This summer I have been blessed to work alongside a team of people who are truly after souls for the kingdom. One of our goals is to plant seeds in the hearts of many children that we meet leading up to Camp Contact that will one day grow and flourish. Our goal is to take hold of the sweet opportunity to show them the love of God with every step that we take, and everything that we do and say.
Since Camp Contact is just around the corner, the countdown has officially begun, and these next few days may not be easy. But it will all be worth it. This year’s theme for Camp Contact is “Nothing is SWEETER than the LOVE of God,” and as you can imagine the Contact team is working tirelessly to make sure that the children at Camp Contact will truly experience the love of God this summer. Sometimes in the midst of a chaotic schedule it is easy to forget that hard work truly does pay off. While trying to finish decorations, register kids for camp, and keep up with daily responsibilities I have often felt there was much to do in so little time. In the craziness of getting paint on my clothes, tripping over cardboard boxes, and sitting down to do a project only to remember that I left all the supplies in another room. It has been exciting to learn from others and see all the decorations slowly but surely come together.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. -1 John 3:18
For the past few weeks the Contact team of staff and interns have knocked on doors hoping to find parents/guardians that are interested in signing their children up for Camp Contact. Believe it or not, this is not an easy process. When you’re walking around an apartment complex in the summer heat it is easy to complain when you don’t know which direction to go. It is easy to get frustrated when you knock on the door, and you are not always given a friendly response. After being in this situation a few times, it seemed easy to give up, but as a Christian it is better if I roll up my sleeves and continue to work. After realizing that the opportunity I had was not one to be wasted, I soon had a different approach.
To be honest, being an intern means the people that I meet this summer may never pass my way again. If this is the only chance for them to see Christ in me, what do I want them to remember? As I heard the laughter of children playing outside, and as I watched some children peek their heads through the door while introducing their parents to the Camp Contact opportunity, my attitude quickly changed. I realized that we had a SOUL opportunity to introduce Christ to different people by the smiles that we wear, the words that we say, and the attitudes that we bring. Even if they turned down the opportunity, did I have an attitude that showed the love of Christ? After a while I didn’t mind the feeling of my aching feet or the sweat that started to pour down my face. Instead I chose to take hold of the sweetest opportunity by sharing the love of God. If I choose to go after souls, let go of self, and take one step at a time, I will allow God to use me in the way that He desires - even if that means I’ll be a little uncomfortable.
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!" - Romans 10:14-15
When you think of the word sweet, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think of your favorite dessert, the smell of your favorite fragrance or candle, or do you think of a person who is kind and gentle? In most cases after experiencing something sweet, a person will often take delight or find satisfaction. As for me, I am thankful for the desire that God has placed in my heart, to reach out to the lost souls in my own backyard. How different would our lives be as Christians if we chose to walk daily with Jesus in our hearts, and heaven on our mind? With Jesus on our hearts we should always remember that the cross is more than an accessory we wear around our necks. Instead it should be a lifestyle. The cross should remind us to welcome strangers, sit with sinners, except differences, serve wholeheartedly, and live selflessly. This has been my prayer all summer: that I will die to self daily, and that others will see Christ in me. I have seen the love of Christ in the people that I work alongside at Contact, and I am encouraged daily by their loving example. Sometimes walking through the apartments can be disheartening when you see a child’s reality and the life they didn’t sign up for. How can I turn down the opportunity to bring children hope by introducing them to the love of Jesus?
I am incredibly blessed to be a part of a team at Contact that encourages me to “Think Souls”, and be a light in a dark community. God’s love for us was and still is incredibly sweet. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us, and loved us unconditionally (Romans 5:8). That is why we can love others because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). The Contact team is ready to show the sweet love of God this summer, and while there is still much work to be done we are excited to work together and love the children that God will send our way.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Ashley Robinson