We had such a great club in February! We have been seeing a consistent group of teen dads as well as a group of teen moms and mentors from Santa Ana. When I look around the room full of moms, dads, babies, and volunteers my heart leaps with excitement.
We played a hilarious game where pairs fed each other ice cream while laying down on their backs. Everyone laughed so hard.
For the craft we worked on a scrapbook! The goal was to have the teen moms and dads take a moment to think about what YoungLives means to them. The moms and dads were so creative! One quote that stood out to me was one of the graduated moms that wrote “YoungLives is life changing” and she said that that was all she needed to write to express what YoungLives means to her. I can’t wait for all of you to see the finished scrapbook!
The talk this month was about sin. I was a little bit nervous about how I would bring truth yet also being sensitive. The scripture I shared was the woman caught in adultery. One thing I remembered as I prepared was something my Pastor, Andrew Schey, shared with me once in discipleship training- when you speak with the authority of the Word, you don’t have anything to worry about.
When I was in high school I had a falling out with a close friend over a miscommunication. Although we resolved our differences, things were never the same after that incident. The misunderstanding that we had separated us from that point forward. In a similar way our sin separates us from God.
In John 8 Jesus took the time to see the woman caught in adultery and show her that she was valuable. The townspeople were their with stones in hand to condemn her and Jesus reminds them that we all are sinners- white lies, sleeping around, betrayal, stealing, cheating, lying… the list goes on. Standing their completely exposed, the woman watches each stone drop to the ground as her attackers walk away one by one. She looks up at the one left standing, the one that doesn’t have any sin, and Jesus tells her he doesn’t condemn her either. He then tells her to go home and leave the life she is living. He gained her trust by defending her and he also helped her move towards a more satisfying life.
At club, I used an illustration to show the group how God sees our value despite the sin and messiness that we bring. Oftentimes I feel like the woman in this story, I feel like what I have done, where I have been, and what I have experienced is too gross for Jesus, and even others, to handle. In the illustration I asked the group to picture a crisp one hundred dollar bill as us and a plastic bowl as our life. I then proceeded to dump a can of spam over the 100 dollar bill- to represent the hatred and anger in our lives, then a bottle of mayo- to represent the lying, cheating, and stealing, then sardines- to represent each of the things that we do that we know we shouldn’t do, then single serve containers of green mush- to represent the sins that others have committed against us. It was a smelly, gross-looking, completely inedible mess. I proceeded to throw it away and stopped midway and asked if anyone thought I should keep it. A few said no and a few said “THERE IS ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS IN THERE!”
With all of the sin and junk in our life and the sins of others that impact us, we are still valuable. Just like the one hundred dollar bill our value does not change. Jesus sees us and he reminds us that he has a more satisfying life in store for us. He says you can be free of guilty, shame, and fear. You are not alone. You are loved, beautiful and perfect.