orleanna and the jr. high kids
“I find her standing on the sea wall in raincoat and no shoes, glaring at the ocean. Orleanna and Africa at a standoff.” (Adah – The Poisonwood Bible)
I spent the weekend with 14 jr. high students at a Believe conference in Anderson, IN. Why? I think I’m still figuring it out. I spent weeks waiting, wondering where God was going to take me now. Back to a place that holds great spiritual memories for me.
I found myself looking over the auditorium at Anderson University remembering that that place held my beginnings at youth conferences too. In the summer of 2001 I was getting ready to enter high school and spent a week in Anderson with some incredible people who changed my life. And here I was again, with these kids as they began their journey. And while I would have loved for my mind to be thinking all about them this weekend, God did something different in my heart.
Once again, He spoke to me about grace. He used loud music, wonderful speakers and an auditorium full of crazy jr. high students to show me his love, and that he has plans for them and me.
He showed me that Africa and I aren’t done yet. There is still this longing in my heart for that place and those people. Maybe it’s because I left fast, but as one speaker told the story of Austin Gutwein and Hoops for Hope, I found myself crying as I cheered for the clinic they built in Zambia. Those people have a piece of my heart.
Orleanna and the jr. high kids aren’t the most likely combination. But since when has God ever used anything normal in my life…