SA 2011: Everything counts


Reflecting on a ministry opportunity

By Hailey Ballard, a senior with Koerner Heights Church, Newton, Kan. 

Editor’s note: Congregations were invited to select one student to serve as a CL student reporter for SA2011. Thanks to the 11 youth leaders who recruited student writers and to these students for their honest and inspiring reflections.

For the ministry experience on Monday, April 18, my youth group along with three or four others went to the Food Bank in San Antonio and we worked in the Community Garden. I honestly was expecting a cute, little garden with flowers and pretty walkways and fences, but what we encountered was, in fact, more like a field full of a ridiculous amount of plants.

I saw this and automatically knew that this would be no easy day of simple little tasks and goofing of with my youth group. It is funny how we can go into a situation with a mindset like that and then realize how completely different things are going to be. It is intimidating, but if you think about it, what else should we expect.

Ministry is rarely a piece of cake. We were there for a reason, for a purpose. How many times do we go through these experiences and never actually think about why we are really there. Yes, I pulled weeds for around three hours, but in that God showed me that everything counts. Every effort is seen and is blessed. He sees our work and our willingness to do it and he is proud. Despite the heat, blisters and exhaustion, I left feeling accomplished.

I was able to have some exciting and encouraging conversations with the people I was working with during that time. I know for a fact that God did not just throw us in that larger-than-average garden to pull weeds for an extensive amount of time. He knew that being there would open up great opportunities to have these conversations and to leave, feeling like what we had accomplished was not in vain. It was not for our own gain or the praise of others, but it was for a cause and for his glory.

This opportunity in the garden gave me an intense desire to do more. Even though I was tired, I did not feel like God was done. He used our hands and feet to work in the garden but I had the feeling that he now wanted to use our hearts and mouths to go out and minister to the city. So later that night a group of us from my youth group walked a few blocks outside of the hotel we were staying, and we ministered to the people in the city. We walked, we talked to people and we prayed. We prayed so much for the city and the people of San Antonio.

Nothing gives me more joy then doing his work and seeing the good fruits that come out of that obedience. My heart was jumping, and it was all for Jesus! He was being glorified, and we were experiencing the joy and peace that one can only find in him. Can it get any better then that?


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