Keep praying for Holly and her team as they minister to the Nepalis after this devastation. Her Ywam team will be there another 5 weeks -- as of now they are "getting emergency supplies from our house and gathering with several other organizations (Long term westerners and Nepalis) at a school w/a large, open area safe for sleeping. There were aftershocks throughout the night and conditions were crowded so none of us got much sleep but today we're heading out into the city to help in any way we can (Moving rubble, praying for people, feeding the homeless)." Also Monsoon season is approaching there so shelter is crucial for everyone in Nepal. The more prayers and support the better!
Another mini-miracle story last week was at High School Group. I showed up on Tuesday Night for Small Group with my Junior girls. When I got there I noticed a few new faces. To my left was a bright, shining, smiling faced beautiful gal. I recognized her immediately. I grabbed her hand and said, "Wait, are you Nichole's cousin?!" She said "YES!" And I said, "I'm Malorie…do you remember me?!" She looked at my in disbelief and goes... "Wait oh my gosh!!! You are the one that sang at my Papa's funeral and anniversary!!! Oh my gosh I am gonna cry!" All the other high schoolers and Laurah (our other adult leader) were smiling at us having this special moment. They were saying "Aww you guys are so cute!" I couldn't believe she was there. But it was SO much more than meets the eye. There was something much deeper going on, which we will soon find out.
We went around in our circle of girls and shared our Highs and Lows of the week, and prayer requests, before we started Bible Study-- Becca was second to last to share. I was SO excited to hear what she was going to say. Why God brought her there tonight, for the first time, and the fact that she ended up in my small group, at my church-- of all places. SO GOD. By the time we got to Becca, all of the other girls had really opened up about their weeks and their lives. We have a very special group and relationship with our high schoolers. I am SO blessed, TRULY, to get to be in their lives. That they feel safe enough to share their inner most desires, hurts, dreams…the inner delicacies of their hearts with us leaders is a privilege and honor I don't take lightly. That we get to pray with them, walk through it with them and love them is a gift from God. Okay, sorry, love-fest tangent. Can't help it. I adore my girls.
Back to Becca. I could see that Becca was a little nervous (who wouldn't be on their first time at a new youth group?!?). Let me just say, it was SO brave of her to show up. So, it was definitely God's timing that we went clockwise and she was on my left. It was God giving her time and space; preparing her heart to open up and feel safe. God sets the tone that way. When other girls open up and get vulnerable and real, it helps others to feel like they can do it too. I have seen it happen many times over the years in small groups. So it was her turn and she literally was shaking (she told us she was). She said she never really shares much or gets deep in group settings but really felt like she needed to and wanted too since everyone else did. Praise God! So she started sharing some very deep things she had been walking through since her Papa passed away. She also shared how God was lovingly drawing her to Himself, especially recently. This is confidential, and I would never want to break her trust. I just want to witness to YOU God's GLORY in it all. How He literally brought her to Venture last Tuesday night, specifically to our small group. The fact that I sang at her Papa's funeral…and the way we connected over that. And that was *SUCH a milestone* in her life. The way that God connected me and Nichole (her cousin) 7 years ago-- SO Divinely. And now re-connecting me with her precious cousin in such a Divine way too. We were both blown away. She goes to leigh and I went to leigh (random, not so random side note). All these little, not so little, BIG details of God's love and hand in it all.
Everyone was so proud of Becca for sharing so courageously the way she did her first time coming. I love standing back and seeing the way my girls love on newcomers. It is Jesus in them. Becca stayed after and got some of the girls phone numbers. Her and I ended up walking out to the parking lot together and taking a selfie to send to Nichole. Becca sent it to Nichole, who immediately wrote back-- she was SO excited and couldn't believe it. She was thanking God that Becca came, and that God brought us together. She asked me to share with Becca how her and I met. So we stayed after and talked and found more common ground. Just getting to see a glimpse of God connecting the miraculous dots of HIS love for us. Then one of the other junior girls, Cailie, came over and introduced Becca to some of the other kids in High School group that go to Leigh, so that they could connect at school. Isaac runs the Christian club at Leigh so he was a great connection for her to make, as she was telling us she doesn't have many friends at Leigh. Especially not Christians. She needs a strong support system, as we all do. When Becca hugged me goodbye and went to leave she was so fired up. I could see how amazed she was that God had done ALL of this just for her. Just to show her how much He loves her. He pulled out all the stops. And He will continue to. He is a good, good Father.
When Nichole and I met it was the same kind of stuff-- she was at San Jose State and so was I. We kept finding more and more that we had in common and how our lives intertwined. How God's hand was in it.
*A lot of the girls we opening up about the loss of a grandfather that night because several had recently lost one, so that was also Divine. Becca felt safe to share about her Papa, as some of the girls shared about theirs.* It is such a milestone in most any child's life that forever changes and shapes your faith.
Earlier that Tuesday I was feeling SUCH opposition all day long, a tug in the opposite direction from High School group and I did not know why. But once I got there and ALL of this happened, I knew why. WOW. GOD had quite a LOT of amazingness planned. The enemy certainly did not want me there. He puts people in the right place at the right time as confirmation. We may not realize how important our presence is going to be until we get there.