For our first week of outreach, we went to the local suburb of Windale. We had no idea what to expect, but we were excited to meet the local people and share God’s love with this community, in whichever ways God provided.
Our first ministry opportunity came on day one when we hosted a ‘girls night’ for the local youth group. Around 20 girls came along and we had fun playing games, painting nails, listening to music and getting to know the girls.
One girl in particular stood out to me when she came in with her bright red hair!
From the outside she appeared tough, so I anticipated an icy response when I approached her. However, I discovered that she was soft hearted, lovely and full of joy. As I got to know her, I found out that she was eleven years old and that she was part of a big family. Later, I learned that this family had tragically lost their mum seven years earlier.
During our time in Windale, my team felt led by God to bless this family and we were able to get to know them really well. Throughout our time in Windale, we played games with the kids at the park and spent hours with them during youth ministry events. We even invited the family to spend an evening with us and we cooked a meal for them. It was a delight to spend time with the family and invest in them. The whole family was so interested in YWAM and what we do, as well as wanting to get to know us personally.
I continued to get to know the young girl and began learning her dreams and passions. She told me that she wants to travel the world.
On our last day, she got really quiet. When I approached her, I asked her if it would be okay if I prayed for her. So as I began to pray, many other kids came over and laid hands, which was heart-warming because at that moment I realised just how much we were being watched. After I prayed, all of the kids walked away, but she didn’t move. She stayed in the same seated position, with her head down. I asked if she was okay, then she looked up at me as she was crying and wrapped her arms around my neck. The Lord was working in her heart.
Right before we left, she told me that she would see me again, even if she had to walk around the world.
The best part was realising that the dreams of this girl changed from wanting to just travel the world, into desiring to travel the world to learn more about God. She had been watching us all week. She noticed what gave us joy and laughter, and saw the way our team loved each other.
Although we rarely preached the Gospel outright, she felt God’s presence in simple acts of love, and for that reason, I will never under estimate the power of love.
Compassion Now DTS Student