It’s so strange to try to put into words the miraculous things God has done in and through me these last two years. Two summers ago I attended a teen leader bootcamp called Project Timothy, which is hosted by the Vineyard Eastern Region. Project Timothy was a changing point for me and afterwards crazy things started to happen. I have seen God stretch and use me in ways I didn’t think were possible. While at the week-long training camp, God used me for physical healing for the first time ever! Also, my loving heavenly Dad has given me pictures and words for people, and has used me as leader at my youth group. Also after receiving training at Project Timothy, and through my own church, I had the opportunity just three weeks ago to be part of the prayer team on Sunday morning. Dad has shown me that he can be just as impacting and powerful to the adults and teens in my own church as He is with the teens from around New England whom I meet at different church events.
Not only has my personal relationship with God changed, but my youth group has gone through a change. Two years ago my youth group was struggling as we were trying to find a new youth leader. We only had around five people that came, and sometimes it would only be my brother and I—it was beginning to look hopeless. Then God brought a friend from California and rose up a leader from our church as our youth leaders. As they were beginning to figure out the whole “youth thing” the opportunity for Project Timothy came and our assistant youth leader, Laura, and I were the only ones to go. It not only radically changed and churned up my personal life, it awakened a passion in me for my group. After getting equipped I went back and taught several times at what was now a growing youth group. Our numbers were increasing and we were becoming a unit. We started planning events and outreaches and fun activities that I was able to help lead. As a result of this growth, when the next Project Timothy came around, we took two more teens! God has been working in our youth group and showing up all over my life in new and exciting ways.
But of course my life is filled with its constant ups and downs. Now, more than ever, I find myself running to Him and his Word for help. Diving into the Word has changed me as a person for the better. I have suffered the loss of two great friends in the last two years and, God being as awesome as he is, has brought some good out of the terrible experiences. Recently a town over from mine lost a junior in high school in a car accident. My school was greatly affected by his death and many of my close friends were impacted by it. I had the opportunity to share how God has helped me battle out my feelings about my past situations and helped me find happiness again after going through a period of depression. I was overwhelmed by how my simple words of encouragement, and my expression of God’s hope, affected some of my friends. I believe God used my experience to encourage others and touch many of my friend’s lives.
God’s timing always amazes me. About a month ago I was really beginning to wonder whether I was even standing out to my friends as being different. But then on a car ride home my friend on my volleyball team said she was curious about faith and thought I would be a good person to ask. I was so touched that she thought of me, and I was able to give my testimony and try to explain to her why I love God so much. God is continuing to give me opportunities to share and strengthen my faith and I’m so thrilled to see that I am only one billions of people that are being used by God and coming to love him.