I asked the freshman girls in my Bible study yesterday in what ways they have demonstrated love toward others, or had love demonstrated toward them. One girl shared that her mother had changed her mind about an initial decision to abort her. Another girl said her father had left his country and his loved ones to be with his family in the United States. One girl said her dog shows its love by licking her face :)
Together, we looked at Paul's exhortation in Romans 12 to give ourselves to God as "living sacrifices"--in essence, to place our lives on the altar for His use. When we do so, honoring God and honoring others above ourselves (v.10), God blesses us and enables us to participate in that great love which involves laying down one's life for friends. The ultimate expression of love was exemplified by Christ and is manifested in many ways, including serving others, encouraging others, giving, and blessing (vv. 7-21), in those who have placed themselves on the altar of sacrifice.
The freshman girls were awed by the reminder of how Jesus demonstrated His love; they were equally amazed that God can use them to love in like manner as they offer themselves as living sacrifices.
I apologize for the tardiness of this particular report: God answered our prayers for Fastbreak beyond my wildest dreams! (Picture on right: Recreation at Fastbreak). The conference was life-changing for the 50+ students and volunteers who went from Carrollton. One student received Christ, several recommitted their lives to Him, and many had the opportunity to share their faith and lead others to receive Christ for the first time. Upon our return to Carrollton, a few students indicated a desire to begin a Bible study, so 3 new Bible studies have resulted from the Fastbreak conference. Staff members and volunteers have received calls from parents who are excited by the change they see in the lives of their children. And this is only the beginning!
Still riding on the momentum from Fastbreak, the students invited their friends to a Superbowl party on February 2nd. Students Dave, Jordan, Natalia, and RJ shared their testimonies and the gospel and six students prayed to accept Christ into their hearts! Jordan was sharing his testimony for the first time. He is one of the students who received Christ at the Getaway conference last summer, and this year, he saw his friend receive Christ at Fastbreak :) Oh, the joy of "mulitplication"!
- Please pray that God will continue His work of transformation in the lives of the students who accepted Christ or recommitted their lives to Him at Fastbreak.
- Pray that the Bible studies will not grow stagnant, but they will be training grounds for the students to equip them as laborers who will go out and disciple others.
- One of the leadership students who graduated last year recently found out that her 27 year-old sister was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and has been given one more year to live. We are trusting God for healing and resting in the promise that He "works all things for the good of those who are called according to His purpose." Please join us in prayer.