Sometimes being a youth pastor requires me to spend the night outside in a cardboard box with a bunch of teenagers ... and I'd have it no other way! This past Friday night we did our senior high Homeless for the Homeless event. It's our small way to try to raise awareness in the minds of our kids about the reality of homelessness in our area and that we have the ability to help. We started out our night by hearing from someone from Faith Mission ... a local homeless shelter. Afterwards we watched a movie called The Soloist, which is true story and shows the connection between mental illness and homelessness. Really eye opening. We then grabbed cardboard boxes and went outside and spent the rest of the night sleeping in a box.
I just love teenagers! They were so much fun and had a positive attitude throughout the entire night ... even though the temperatures dropped to the low 50's and we got quite cold. No blankets, no pillows ... just cardboard. We also had some great talks together. At one point there was a circle of about 15 of us just talking for over an hour about spiritual questions. Such a cool experience.
I left the night soar, tired, and cold ... but I also left with a larger sense of gratitude for what I've been given, a greater love for teenagers, and a larger desire to simply help people. I heard Rick Warren say that helping the poor and orphans isn't a CAUSE ... it's a MANDATE ... something that the Bible clearly tells us to do. I want to lead my family and our youth ministry in that direction.