Here's Part II of what God did in my life this past summer at PVM. He's awesome!
This summer God helped me to see people through his eyes, as human beings created in his image. I've struggled with valuing people for who they are rather than what they look like for years, even though I know that God commands us to value people regardless of their physical appearance or the way they act and speak. I don't know how it happened, but God worked in my heart and now I am less judgmental than I used to be. It's a process, and there are definitely still times where I only focus on the outer appearance of individuals, but overall, God is making it possible for me to love all people with his love and focus on their hearts, which is what really matters.
Also, this summer my heart has been burdened for the many people who suffer daily for their faith in Christ as I've played the game Underground Church each Wednesday evening at PVM. Underground Church is an opportunity for the campers to share their testimonies of how God has saved them and worked in their lives with staff members who are either Citizens (ordinary people who are not Christians) or ACC (political leaders who are opposed to Christianity). It is also an opportunity for the campers to experience persecution for their faith on a much lower level than it would be in reality for Christians in a country where Christianity is illegal. The game provides excellent teaching opportunities and I've witnessed the impact it can have on hearts that are open and surrendered to God's will.
I myself have been changed because of Underground Church as I've played a Citizen in a few games and walked around with my cabin of Christians a couple of times. Watching young kids share the love of Jesus with Citizens and ACC alike and sharing their personal stories of what God has done for them is phenomenal. The vast majority of kids refuse to let the ACC make them declare that God isn't real, and they're willing to suffer for what they believe by laying on the ground or having their heads covered in shaving cream. Granted, the kids do complain about the "punishment", but that doesn't change their determination to stay true to Jesus and his Word.
Playing Underground Church eight times in the last nine weeks has given me greater confidence to tell others about Jesus and how much he loves them. God used the kids to teach me how to better know how to initiate conversations about him with unbelievers. Their eternities depend on whether they know him or not and I definitely don't want to waste any opportunities to share Jesus' love!
The past summer at PVM has been spectacular and God has taught me more than I ever could have dreamed or thought possible!
Let me end with a couple of Bible verses that God has laid on my heart recently:
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. -2 Peter 1:3-11
"If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?" -Esther 4:14
Love in Christ,