God is so Crazy

2 comments Written on April 11th, 2011     
Filed under: Reflection
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Matt Aalseth – Youth Pastor, Reedemer Covenant Church, California
I gave the kids a challenge for over their Christmas break – to pray that their friends would come to faith in Christ in the next 10 days but I can’t really remember if I told all of you. Anyway, the story just got a whole lot bigger, crazier, and full of God’s amazing movement and I thought I would share it with you. It’s long because I’m watching TV while typing it up but whatever.

Here goes…….
In December I challenged our Youth Group to use their Christmas Break for more than sleeping in, playing video games and staying up late. They’ve got 14 days off of school with no obligations except to have fun so why not spend some of that time getting to know God better. We used the 10 Days to a Burning Heart Challenge and our students committed to three things. They committed to spending 30 minutes a day reading their Bibles and journaling. They committed to living pure and holy lives for 10 days, having their best friend call them three times a day to ask them how they were living. Finally, they committed to pray that they would see one of their friends come to faith in Christ in the next 10 days.

The last commitment was the hardest for the students to make. They complained that they were out of school for two weeks and they probably weren’t going to see their friends at all. But several students still committed to praying for their friends, hoping to see something happen in their lives.

We started the commitment the first day of their break and on day two we saw something amazing happen. Mark, one of our senior students, was walking from his house to Taco Bell to get a bite to eat on day two of the commitment when his friend Sam came out of no where and started walking along with him. As they were walking Sam asked Mark, “Are you a Christian?” Mark responded, “Yeah.” Then Sam says, “So how do I become one?”

Right there Mark explained how to become a Christian and Sam said he wanted to do it right there. Sam then came to Youth Group, Church on Sunday, and has been a regular ever since.

After a month and a half with our group, Sam said that he wanted to go to Alaska with us on our Mission Trip. The crazy part is, Sam’s parents are Buddhist, aren’t from the United States, and don’t speak English. It was going to be very hard to explain to them why he wanted to go to Alaska and that he’d become a Christian.

So the other day Sam comes to Youth Group after weeks of his parents saying that he couldn’t come to Alaska and he says he can go. I ask him what changed and he tells me the most amazing story. He says that he told his parents again that he wanted to go and they said, “You’re Buddhist. You’re ancestors were Buddhist, you are Buddhist, you are not a Christian.” I guess they’ve had those conversations before. So then Sam says that he started to believe them and was about to give up hope on going to Alaska and being a Christian. So he goes to his room and grabs his daily devotional that he’s been reading and opens it up. It says, “Your ancestors lived in sin and were ignorant of God’s grace, but you know the truth.” What!!!

So Sam thought, this must be right, God’s telling me that I’m supposed to be a Christian so he goes back down stairs and tells his parents again that he wants to go and this time they say, Ok, and sign the papers! He comes to youth group and tells me this story and I say, “So how are we going to get you to Alaska?” He says, my parents keep my money so I can’t pay for it, but I could just sell some of my stuff to go. He’s actually willing to sell his stuff to be with us! It’s crazy!

So I asked Sam if he would share at Youth Group his story and thankfully he said yes. Last week he went up in front of everyone and shared what’s going on. The students, in the middle of raising support for the trip, began to give Sam some of their support contacts to help him raise his money for Alaska. I watched as Sam wrote personal notes on his support letters and everyone said the same thing. “Hi, my name is Sam and I just became a Christian. My family is not Christian but I want to go to Alaska with my Youth Group. Would you please help me.” That’s it. I can’t wait to see what happens when people from our church get his letter in the mail.

To top if off, a student who actually prayed about the trip and felt like God was saying, “Stay Home,” comes to me and says, “How much will Sam need to go to Alaska?” I tell him it’s $300 out of pocket and raise $400 more and this student says, “Great, we’ll take care of that.” I have no idea what it means but I’m floored that our students are stepping up to the plate for one another. I didn’t even reserve Sam a plane ticket because I thought there was no way he’d ever go.

Now I have to go and buy another ticket!
God is so crazy.

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2 comments “God is so Crazy”

This is such a delightful story, partly b/c we’re so shocked that God would do something like this… but this is really how God loves to show off His glory. Go God!! The funniest thing about this event is that Sam was the least shocked. He “knows” God in this fresh way of changing Sam’s character, changing his parents’ decisions, getting on planes to fly to mission in AK… and God paying for it too. I have gained a new perspective today. Thanks Matt. I’m praying for your trip to Soldotna, AK too.

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Hey folks,
Matt is in AK right now! 🙂
He is tweetering, twirping, chirping, oh…tweeting some great photos!

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