A New Season

Our July looks different for the first time in six years. We're not in Mexico. If you know us well, you know that for the last five years Jamie and I have been involved in leading and sending in some capacity our senior high youth group to minister in a small village in Mexico. But this time, year six and six kids in the home just couldn't add up. Our hearts have fervently been praying this week for our team, as well as our dear friends we've made over the years there. The village of Yobain and its people are a HUGE part of our story, God's calling on our lives, and His vision for our ministry.

This last year has been a season of grieving as the Father has undoubtedly moved us away from youth ministry. For six years, there was a senior high kid or kids in our home almost everyday and often late into the night. Our first group will be seniors in college this next year.

That's a doozie.

It's interesting the remarks we've gotten as we've stepped away to instead, bring youth and children into our home. Some, have really struggled, rather than stepping in and coming alongside the spots we left to be filled. Others have prayed with us and understood. There were moments when I've felt like we failed by moving out.

But then...

One of my sophomore girls came up to Big Sis R and asked if she could be one of her best friends.

My senior high gals left flowers on the front porch.

These girls and guys seek out the children in our home and have made them their own. They have started doing their own youth ministry to us Lumpkins.

You see, it was good and true for Jamie and me to pour ourselves into these kids we love desperately, some of whom really have become our best friends, but we didn't do it for them. We did it because we were called to make disciples of all nations, and disciples don't stay in the nest forever. The kids we've taught, loved on, cried with, spent the night with and taxied around, could have gone on seeing themselves as the focus of our ministry and whimpered when God moved us away.

But our rock stars have realized that they have been discipled to make disciples. That's why they are banging down our door to love on the kids in our home, and why God is taking them literally to the ends of the earth to carry forth His gospel.

The Father didn't need us to impact these kids lives, but He let us put our hands in.

How awesome is that?

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