April 18, 2009

The Ripple Effect

Just in case you were wondering...I am feeling much better!!! Almost fully like myself again!!! Now, though, my poor Sissy is fighting it!!! I did not pass it on, the dr. is telling her it is viral and she will just have to let it run it's course! That is apparently why it has just been so hard to shake! Thank you, Lord, for your grace during this time of illness!!! I ask that you, my bloggy friends, please pray for my Sissy and my FIL - he is fighting off something similar! This illness NEEDS to stop! Thank you so much!!!

Well, I could have written my post about the ripple effect about our being ill and watching those around us deal with our being ill. However, God has a very special way of showing Himself in the details of life...and I'm not really a detail person!

As many of you may remember, DD1 is president of the Christian organization at her high school. Each organization must have a sponsor and she has been blessed with two wonderful teachers to sponsor hers! Today, I want to encourage myself (and you) in watching how God works over the years of our lives...day by precious day...to further His kingdom - even using school sponsors!

We met Coach Wilson last year when DD1 began dating the then president of the organization. There was a youth gathering that DD1 had been invited to by her boyfriend and when we pulled into the parking lot, there was a truck full of teenage boys in the back....and I do mean full!!! And I swear, just as many teenage boys piled out of the front of that truck, too!!! DD1 spied her boyfriend (they are no longer together, by the way) just as I realized the driver of the truck was headed my way. I rolled down my window and he kindly introduced himself. Very humble, nondescript, did not even identify himself as a sponsor of the club, only as a coach!

I did not think much of it.

When DD1 began her senior year, she was asked to lead this same organization. As parents, we have been so proud of her as she truly seeks to lead her peers through the halls of a public school with Christ as their true guide! Through her leading the club, we have also gotten to know just a little bit more about Coach Wilson.

Fast forward just a little bit as we began our search for a new home church. I had passed a church last year when Bunny was going through her worst time that I got very excited about. I could not explain to you why but I felt really drawn to this particular church. When we finally made the decision to make the move, hubs and I drove by one evening on the way home from somewhere, passing right by the church. We saw several vehicles out front and he pulled into the parking lot. This was a Monday night, I believe. Both girls had fallen asleep in the back of the van and were not interested in visiting a new church at this point!

The church doors were open, and my fearless hubs began walking down hallways...me following closely behind! We found the youth area and began looking at all the pictures and activities listed on the bulletin board!!! They were a busy youth group! The pictures were of so many different people, not the same one or two in each shot....I was impressed by that!

Hubs and I began to talk and walk toward the front of the church, and when we came around the corner we saw a lady apparently locking the doors we had recently entered. Poor thing, we scared her so badly when my hubs simply says, "How are you doing tonight?" The foyer is large and she had not seen or heard us come around the corner! She quickly recovered, though, and began to answer our questions about the church and ask questions about our family and situation.

Well, wouldn't you know it!!! God had a plan! The lady we met was Natalie...the admin for the youth pastor and leader of the freshman girls small group!!! Bunny is a freshman this year! When she asked if the girls were with us, we told her they were resting in the van outside and she asked if she could come meet them. Natalie was so full of energy and was very passionate about her work. When she met the girls outside, she asked them where they went to school. Come to find out, she is an alumni of DD1's high school!!! Very exciting stuff for me to watch God work!!!

We made the decision within a couple of months for the girls to visit their youth service when our former church was not meeting. We were making the move more for the girls (so we thought then!) so this seemed a fairly logical decision.

When our girls came home that night, they were so excited about the youth group! It was larger, the youth pastor showed a passion for the students and the small groups were a hit with my girls....being split into grade and gender when our previous youth group only had 3 girls in the whole high school....and two of them were mine! It became clear within a few weeks that we needed to fully make the move as a family.

Shortly after the move, we realized our new church home was part of a movement called I Am Second. We had seen ads and heard radio spots for it but had never really looked into the movement. So, I sat down at the computer one night and began to click on people's pictures on the site to hear their testimony. One of those people was Natalie!

As I listened to her testimony, I heard a very familiar name...Craig Wilson from high school!!! We soon learned that Coach Wilson and Natalie's Craig Wilson were one in the same! Craig had shared Christ with Natalie in high school, then they went their separate ways but both ended up right back here in our town...serving God in their own unique way! Both working with teenagers!!!

I have watched Coach Wilson have a very positive affect on DD1 as she has hit some pretty rough patches this year. (yes, part of life!) I have watched Bunny grow in Christ under the loving care of Natalie. And when I look back just 15 yrs ago, these two people walked the same halls and served the same Lord!

Can you imagine the people that will be lined up in heaven to welcome these two precious people home??? I know that Natalie is not the only life that Coach Wilson has touched, but even if she were....his crowns to throw at Jesus feet would still be so many just because he invited Natalie to touch the hem of Jesus garment! And Natalie's life....she touches teens each and every day for the cause of Christ!

God set a plan for my family in motion many years ago...when I was home with two little girls in El Paso! He raised up a teenage boy to courageously share his faith at his high school and He raised up a teenage girl to hear the word of the Lord from this same young man! And look at all of them now...serving our risen Savior and furthering His kingdom!

THANK YOU, LORD!!! Ps. 145: 3,4 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

As far as I know, Coach Wilson will still be reaching teens at the high school next year. Natalie has changed positions, she still leads the freshman girls small group but is planning on serving the Lord in Ethiopia one day in the near future. These two precious people will continue touching lives for the glory of God. I know because of their position in my girls lives, that my girls will also be a light to shine to all men and 'tell of Your mighty acts'.

I am looking forward to watching the continuing ripple effect!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!

God's girl, Pamela

PS...I'm sorry this is so long! I really am working on not being quite so wordy! Thank you for visiting and please feel free to leave a comment if you are moved by this post. Thanks!

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