This summer I had the opportunity to staff at the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA) in Indiana. I had a wonderful time learning new skills and meeting new people, but I also had my share of trials. When I returned home I had time to reflect on one of the trials I faced, and realized that God used it to teach me an invaluable lesson about reaching the lost. In order to understand what God taught me, I need to share some background of how things went at NESA, and since it is quite a lengthy story, I decided to post it in parts. Today, I am sharing Part 1 of this story.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time at NESA last year as a student, one thing I noticed was that it not only proved physically challenging, but emotionally and spiritually taxing as well. While the stressful atmosphere was important in learning how to work on a real life mission, I could not help but feel overwhelmed on occasion and longed for some kind of spiritual conversation with fellow Christians. From talking with my siblings and other close Christian friends who attended last year as well, I realized that we were all desperate for the same thing.
When I discovered that I had been accepted to staff NESA as a team leader this year, I immediately identified it as a mission field. With so many young people in need of the encouragement, I knew there would be plenty of opportunities to share the gospel and love of Christ with the students. Motivated, I began looking for ways that I could prepare myself ahead of time for this mission. Last year when I went to NESA as a student, my mom gave me a stack of 4×6 cards with scripture verses that I could carry with me throughout the week. They meant a great deal to me. This year, I thought I would create some of the same cards for my students. After not-so-much contemplation, I decided to write out each scripture by hand, because I felt like it would be more meaningful written than printed. What I did not take into consideration was the math. If I gave each student one card a day for two weeks, it would equal nearly eighty cards. Since I would have a different team each week, thankfully, I would only need to find forty different scriptures. Finding forty different encouraging scripture verses turned out to be quite the project. However, a much harder project lay ahead. After I had found the scripture verses, I now had to write them. At first, I set aside time during my morning bible study to write out about five verses each day. By the time I had finally found forty verses, I realized that I only had a week left to write the verses. To make matters worse, I was studying for my FAA written exam during that time as well which left me with barely any free time. One evening, I concluded that writing five verses a day was not going to work, so I stopped for about two hours and did nothing but write out the remaining scripture cards. Finally, two days before leaving, I had all eighty cards completed.
So that is Part 1. Part 2 will discuss how the students reacted to receiving the scripture cards, and how the Lord used it to influence other people’s lives, and ultimately, mine. Lord willing, I will post Part 2 soon.