The Story of the Supposed Missing Kid- or the Lost Sheep (PYFA Vacation Bible School)

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It’s the last day of PYFA and I’m leading children’s ministry. We’re almost done for the day when a frantic mother comes up to me and tells me her kid is missing and more importantly that this is my responsibility. (Spoiler Alert: He was with his father and brother)

You can imagine what happened next. Our volunteers stopped everything and, much like the parable of the lost sheep or the lost coin or the parodical son, we left everything behind for that one out of 80 kids we lost. (I might add we actually didn’t lose him) In that moment it was our responsibility that drove us to search for this ‘missing’ kid, but sitting with my mother she reminds me of how we serve a God who with a much greater love, not responsibility, searches for that one lost sheep. Thinking back I can’t imagine the love and pain God feels for us because he sees beyond our physical circumstance and knows who is truly lost is the crowds. He sees you and I and He, with great urgency, searches for his lost sheep.

Our supposed lost kid was with his father and brother- safe and sound. And I honestly never felt so happy to learn that a child was with his parents! I imagine how great God’s joy is when we choose to follow him and that he chooses to look for us when we’re not his responsibility- he does everything because of love.

This Sunday there is no “Sari Sunday” post. To be honest with you, before deciding to teach, I never imagined myself in children’s ministry; I’m now a Special Education Resident and will be a full time teacher next year at a high school. If anything, my passion is to work with teens, and managing large groups of young kids always seemed as a daunting, if not impossible, task.

When I thought I lost a kid I was filled with feelings of panic, sadness and doubt. This is my future career, isn’t it? But today I learned a lesson of how much it hurts to lose that one sheep in just a VBS. I worry about this VBS when I hardly think of one’s eternity. 

Luke 15: 4-7 

“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the [b]open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The funny thing when God comes last

I found myself thinking about this on the last night of my christian retreat, I realized that I had not once thought about God.  At my christian retreat.  Ironic, or pathetic?  You choose.

And I feel like this has become an epidemic that is plaguing our nation, or more so our churches.  Meetings, conferences,retreats and God somehow comes last.  God is a burden or an after thought.  God doesn’t even come second, he comes last.

It’s sad and its heartbreaking because when God’s not in the equation, everything else just crumbles and falls apart.  I’ve heard of conferences where the “norm” was skipping out on the main meetings to hang out with friends.  Where people go for the sole reason of bonding with their friends.

I believe that there is nothing wrong with wanting to spend time with people you love.  Even taking time out to do so is fine.  But when a conference is centered around God, and somehow he’s put last?  Something is wrong.

The sad part was I believed I didn’t have a choice, but I did.  In life we always have a choice.  And I realized that when I did pray, you could just feel the power of God move so greatly.

Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven

 

THIS is the God we serve.  I found myself so ashamed when I realized that I was putting him last.  I was more worried about how I looked, what clothes I was wearing and what social activity was happening next.  Worse than anything was when I let drama take hold and forgot to even turn to God.
But the amazing thing about God is that even if we fail over and over again, he still forgives.
So if you’re like me and put God last, its never too late, and you always have a choice.  Bring God back to your “christian” outings, bring God back to your life.  And then see how much you have been missing in your life.

Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat

 

This picture was taken almost three years ago of me back when I was in India.  I may be bias in the fact that I was in a different country I loved, surrounded by people I loved all while being on vacation.   So how could I not love eating at this restaurant?  I believe the name of it was “Taj Malabar” (being honest I can’t remember fully) in Cochin, Kerala.  I’ve only gone here two times in my life and the first time I went I had the best meal I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.

This is technically only a restaurant inside of a hotel, but the view and sites are spectacular here!  Being honest, even though I love being in India the whole “third” world problems things starts to get old fast.  The electricity always goes out, you wake to roosters and mosquito bites on your neck.  This place is just a little bit of luxury and class that I needed when most of the places I visited had toilets as holes in the ground.  You wouldn’t think that a tiny thing like a toilet would matter..

Anyway, the food here is amazing!  It was delectable and I loved the fact that they offered many different types of cuisine.  The atmosphere itself was breathtaking!  There was even a lady who did henna on my hands for me when I finished eating.  And this was complimentary service.

This is my favorite place to eat because the food is amazing, the atmosphere is warm and whenever I go, I’m in a happy place.

Day 17: Something you’re looking forward to (This summer)

As I write this post I can think of so many things I am not looking forward to!  I need to study for my calculus exam, take my actual calculus exam, work hard and take my final!  But with all of that in mind, there are still so many things I actually am looking forward to do and below is a list of a few:

1.  Church Retreat

It’s going to  be at the retreat center we always used to have it and I hope it’s as good as I had always remembered it being!

2.  Finishing my summer class

I’m REALLY hoping I don’t have to retake this class, but regardless finishing this class and REALLY starting summer will be a treat with retreat starting the same day in the afternoon.

3.  Sophomore Hang out

It’s bound to happen some time this summer and I miss all my sophomore friends!

4.  Guyana

I meant to announce this later, but I’ll be going to Guyana for a mission trip!  (More on this later)

5.  Starting School Again

I actually like school!  And as happy as I am to end it, I love the beginning of school too!

6.  BIG Production meeting

The entire team for The Ticket is meeting together again and this excites me!

7.  Apologetic Lesson

My Sunday school class is learning about different religions and at the end we learn some christian apologetic.  I’ve always been curious about these things.

 

Day 8: A place you’ve traveled to

One place I have traveled to is India, surprise surprise?  This was nearly 3 years ago and I can scarcely believe how fast time just slips away.  I remember thinking back then that I would be back in India by that same summer.  And before I knew it, nearly 3 years passed me by.  I find this picture hilarious.  I can’t believe how serious we were in making sure we got this picture taken.  WE NEEDED A PICTURE OF US AND NATURE.  And I mean, and my cousin’s Santa hat of course.  In the summer.

At first I was really skeptical about putting pictures up on my blog.  This is my personal life and all.  But I feel like pictures illuminate every post I write and this post wouldn’t be the same without the awkward picture of me sitting on a rock in India.

India is amazing but I loved this trip because before this trip I used to hate visiting India.  I loathed it so much.  There were bugs and all of these third world problems.  Current outages left and right and food poisoning.  My stomach did not appreciate some of the food there.  I got such bad food poisoning that I wanted to die.   I’d rather not explain in great detail but be wary of fried chicken that seems a little too greasy.

But somehow with all of this in mind I love India.  My skin glows and suddenly I have this cheery disposition.  Maybe because I am surrounded by so many people I love so much all in one place.  Of course I find America much more comfortable, but being comfortable isn’t always what’s best.

In India you barely need any money to feel like you’re loaded.  100 rupees can get you a LONG way.  Trust me.

You should go one time.  Maybe you’ll hate India the first, second or third time you go, but eventually you’ll love it like me.