Saturday, June 19, 2010

Young People Shaped by God

by Diego dos Anjos
 
Diego is an AIM graduate, who served in Mexico, and is now back in João Pessoa, still serving Jesus while also studying to be a doctor. The following is an excerpt from his newsletter about his experience at youth camp. If you would like to receive Diego's bimonthly newsletter, write him at diego_dosanjos@hotmail.com .
 

YOUTH RETREAT IN RECIFE

          We took the youth group from the church in Joao Pessoa to the youth retreat in Recife in April. The retreat's theme was SHAPED BY GOD.

          I personally enjoy these youth retreats that we have in Northeast Brazil a lot. The main reason is because I get to see and meet so many people there. It is encouraging to know that far away from my house there are Christians who are trying to make it through life the same way I do. We face similar giants and trials, and we all want to be shaped by God… isn't that encouraging? It shows me how big Christ's Body is and that geographical barriers don't hide it. You, who are reading this newsletter right now, are probably sitting far away from me, but isn't it awesome that we praise the same God and share the same faith?

          About the theme (SHAPED BY GOD), I took lots of notes about the things we were thinking and learning during those days. I will share with you now something I don't ever want to forget: "If you have already given your life to God, you became a living instrument; He has different deeds He prepared for you to do. The more you accept the opportunities God gives you, the more He uses you." Well, but sometimes our growing process is hard and painful, so remember: "The iron suffers when it is getting shaped. So, let's stop asking 'WHY?' and start asking 'FOR WHAT?' whenever suffering and hard times hit our lives." In the church we are all shaped, depending on the purpose for which God wants to use us. The reason He shapes us is the same for everybody: to glorify His name, make us more like Christ and show the love which is able to save the sinful ones. But there are different ways He will do it because we, as human beings, are all different. The point I am saying is this: even the fork, the spoon and the knife are made with the same material, we use them in different situations, but the purpose is always the same – to feed us. God wants to use you in His Kingdom. He wants to shape each one of us according to His eternal purpose. I hope you let Him work through you because I know He will do amazing things if you do.

        Anyways… we had about 100 people there, and it was great to catch up, hang out, and have fun together with other Christians. It was a bit weird, though, to see young people taller than me who were just little kids a few years ago.

          The next youth retreat will be in November - its theme is SHINY YOUTH and our João Pessoa youth group will organize it.

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