From the Field: Shared Stories, Shared Hearts

From the Field: Shared Stories, Shared Hearts

This story is told by one of our missionaries…

Twice a month we have youth cell groups lead by our ZOE Ministry School (ZMS) students.  For about six months I had a team of eight ZMS students who poured into the lives of our ZOE youth by leading games, teaching the Word of God, and leading small groups during the cell group nights.

The end of March was the last cell group meeting that would be lead by these eight ZMS students because they were going to graduate.  What a beautiful evening it was as the ZMS students, for the last time, shared their heart with the youth.  Each ZMS student came up front and shared a last word of encouragement to the teens.   They shared their response to this question, “If you could share one last thing to the youth, what would it be?”

Afterwards, the ZMS students stood up in a circle surrounding all the youth.  In the dark, one student lit a candle and shared a testimony from his past when he was hurt by others’ words.  He then lit the candle of his fellow ZMS classmate who shared a testimony from his past.  One by one, each ZMS student had their candle lit and shared their story.  A couple cried while sharing their story, but all ended their story with hope; hope in our God who was there for them.

During the entire time, the youth were silent.  I knew they were listening, many relating, many understanding, many thinking about their past, and hopefully, realizing that they too can have hope in Jesus.  A couple of our youth stood up and shared their testimony.  It was a beautiful evening as hearts were shared and lives were touched.  We ended the evening in a huge circle holding hands, singing, and praying to our God who gives us hope.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.”  | Hebrews 6:19

Hope is needed in a world filled with darkness and this is a hope that we must share.  It reminds me of the lyrics of a popular Christian song  “So Carry your candle, run to the darkness Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor.  Hold out your candle for all to see it.  Take your candle, and go light your world.”  People come and go through our lives. Those eight ZMS students are no longer at ZOE, but they passed on a hope to our youth that our youth will now be able to carry in their hearts to light the world around them.

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