God’s Immeasurable Blessings
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2016 by
The following story was written for Youth For Christ USA. These are real YFC Stories showing how God is using YFC USA as a vehicle in raising up life-long followers of Jesus all across the nation.
Mitchell sat far away...
Mitchell sat far away, his back against the wall with a facial expression and body language telling us he was utterly unamused and painfully alone.
David noticed Mitchell. So, David did what any trained Youth For Christ Campus Life leader would do, he introduced himself. He soon discovered that Mitchell's brother and his own brother were best friends. Because of the "small world" family connection, Mitchell was sold on David and quickly sold on YFC Campus Life.
It wasn't long before Mitchell became a regular attendee, jumping into the weekly YFC Campus Life fun. David began meeting one-on-one with Mitchell occasionally and established a solid friendship. Mitchell slowly revealed his heavy involvement in the city's party scene: smoking weed regularly, drinking on the weekends, and having sex with his girlfriend.
The summer after his sophomore year, Mitchell attended YFC Camp. A few days in, during free time, David and Mitchell stayed in the cabin to do laundry. This gave them a chance to talk about camp, life, and God. After drilling David with questions, Mitchell came to the realization that he wasn't sure what was holding him back from following Jesus. He and his girlfriend had broken up, and he was no longer interested in the party scene. He had a newfound desire to get rid of his anger and resentment towards other people, especially his alcoholic father. There were no excuses standing in the way.
David had Mitchell open up the Bible and read a few verses of Scripture. At the end of their conversation, David asked Mitchell if he wanted to give his life over to Jesus and begin the journey of following Him. Mitchell replied, "Absolutely."
When Mitchell returned home, he tried his hardest to stay away from old party habits but often found himself slipping. Still, trudging through his new faith journey, Mitchell had an incredible drive. He was hungry to know Jesus, he craved more time in the Bible, he couldn't wait to attend church each week, and he was finally on the right track with God. The Lord was continually showing Himself to Mitchell, and Mitchell was falling more in love with Him. After David witnessed Mitchell's consistent intentionality with the Lord, he asked Mitchell to become a student leader and serve YFC Campus Life middle school students. Mitchell was honored, empowered, and focused on investing in the students' lives the same way David invested in him.
Christmas break approached, and Mitchell got into a heated argument with his dad. His dad came home drunk and inexplicably threw Mitchell’s brother out of the house. When Mitchell began to help his brother pack up his things, his dad confronted him. What started as an aggressive verbal confrontation soon turned physical. After the hurtful encounter, Mitchell moved in with his sister and brother-in-law.
The rest of the year was a difficult time for him. He went through an intense season of questioning and doubting God's love for him, wondering where He had been in the turmoil. Mitchell felt like an immense burden to his family, so he began working to help pay for as much as he could. As a result, he stopped attending church with David. David leaned in. He challenged Mitchell, while loving him all the same. The last thing David wanted was to push Mitchell further away. After much prayer, time with David, and hard conversations, Mitchell began attending church and trusting again.
After David attended Youth For Christ's national training, he was challenged to help Mitchell invest in his friends, helping him to disciple others. As a result of David's influence, Mitchell began diligently inviting his sister and brother-in-law to church. In the face of his persistent effort, they gave in and joined him. The two have been faithfully attending and now call themselves Christ followers – all because of Mitchell's intentional reaching out. As a result of God's work in his family’s life, Mitchell has been on fire sharing Jesus with many of his friends.
The following summer, Mitchell attended YFC Camp again. David empowered Mitchell by putting him in a cabin by himself with many of his friends who didn't know Jesus. For the first time, he was away from David's direct wisdom. Because David obeyed Jesus' nudge to let Mitchell lead, Mitchell now wants to go into youth ministry.
David's impact on Mitchell's life is inspiring, but David would say Mitchell's impact on his life has been nothing short of one of God's immeasurable blessings.
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