Never did I expect the surprise of when, watching carefully, the magic that occurs when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves. I have found that we must always watch carefully, because in this modern day
we can so easily miss the burning lights that sit right in front of our eyes.
This is what the cafe ministry in our location offers to so many beautiful youth that should be too lost beyond all return from some of the heart wrenching stories they have experienced, wearing them boldly on their sleeves in the form of scars, physical or emotional. It was here where I noticed that there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still. I began working in this cafe ministry with the opportunity to paint my testimony for the students, which would consequently invite conversation with some. I thought I was showing them kindness, but it is here I have learnt more lessons in the past two weeks than anywhere else. I have had the opportunity of sharing a little piece of myself in exchange for a whole chunk of the college students and their lives, thoughts, worries, passions, tears, and giggles.
Listening to them while drinking free tea from 11am-7pm seemed exhausting,
but here I experienced so much of God’s strength and presence in giving a voice to those who would otherwise be silenced by the outer community. The biggest lesson that I have been humbled to learn and discover is that out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.
One beautiful woman I had the privilege of building a relationship with would frequently share her deepest thoughts and experiences, from being physically abused by a boyfriend to being told by her own mother that her very existence was a mistake. She is my biggest inspiration and her strength radiates from her like steam does from a kettle. Her love for justice and passion to actively do right is like none other and her respect for others is such a testimony of the redemption of Christ. We would pray daily for her faith and her questions so deep and true about God’s character and love, and for a new healing. She was like a breath of fresh air in the smog-covered city, her honesty and hope in God’s justice allowed me to appreciate this life on a brand new and profound level.
God’s beauty shines out through the very beings He created and His works of love, redemption and peace in what should be hopeless situations is my living testimony of how much God loves this part of the world and how much He is pursuing these nations. Rich or poor, educated or illiterate, whole or broken, God is using everything and everyone who is willing to reach each of His precious creations. For to be thought of by God and to be born into that thought is the most precious, dearest, and glorious thing in all of thinking. These are His children and being here pouring if only the slightest bit into their beautiful lives has been my greatest honour in my mission work. I merely gave them a painting of what God can do with the broken shells of our lives through my testimony, but they gave me something far better. They gave me hope. Hope in seeing that the only one who can TRULY satisfy the human heart is the one who created it, and what a sweet gift that is.
By, Maria Finch
YWAM Compassion DTS Student, Asia Outreach