Parents and Youth of Geist Christian Church,
The Youth Ministry Team and I have been praying and hoping that this year’s summer mission trips would continue as planned. Over the past month, we have listened for guidance from the Church, been in close contact with our mission sites, as well as the governors of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana. We know this has not been an easy past few months. Many of you have missed important milestones like prom, regional or state athletic accolades, the lead in a musical or play, and the chance of a traditional graduation surrounded by your friends and family. We know it has not been easy to stay healthy at home, as you find new ways to connect with your friends and do school. It is not fair, and it pains me to add one more change to your summer schedule. At this point, we are moving away from traditional mission trips this summer, as we explore new and creative ways to serve the least, the last, and the lost. Even as states begin to open back up, we have concerns surrounding your safety and the safety of those whom we will serve. This decision was made in partnership with the organizations we had planned to work with this summer. They, too, agree the best way we can help is to stay closer to home. I am sorry, and at this time, it’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to be frustrated. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be angry. The season we find ourselves in is unprecedented, but the feelings that we are experiencing are not unique.
Throughout scripture, we are introduced to people of faith who struggled with their own season of disappointment, frustration, and pain. They lamented to God, asking “Why now? Why us?” Any good lament has to bring our pain and frustration, feelings many of you have at this time. And, just like those who have gone before us, we may lift those feelings to God, who hears our current struggles. However, a good lament has two parts. Although it may begin with an anger toward God, it ends with a declaration of hope. Even though things are not as we had expected or wanted them to be, God will see us through…At some point, we have to find our hope. We must transition from an anger toward God to a hope in God.
As we move throughout this season, I pray we will begin to find hope in God. Those feelings of anger and disappointment are not going away today, tomorrow, or even next week. I, too, find myself sitting with loss as I try to process a summer that will look drastically different than the one I hoped and planned for. And yet, I know God continues to journey with me as I slowly begin to make my way from anger into hope. I encourage each of you to keep an open mind and heart as we look for new ways God may be calling us to serve in 2020.