At church conference last year, God laid in my heart the burden to see His love extend beyond the walls of the church and the comforts of the fun and lovable churchgoers, to the world outside, where people are broken and hungry to know love.
Over the months, God opened the door for me to serve as a volunteer in the Grief and Loss program, run by our Hands of Hope ministry in collaboration with a chaplain at one of the local schools. Our role was to assist the chaplain in running a weekly program for children in the school who have experienced traumatic life events and loss in their lives. There, I met many very young individuals, some of whom grew up in highly dysfunctional families, others of whom had families broken down by drug abuse, and others of whom were soon to lose family members to terminal illnesses. Hearing their life stories broke my heart, but what was more difficult was the feeling that I could do so little for them. For many of them, their massive family issues manifested as behavioural problems in the sessions, and many times I questioned if they were even benefitting from the program. I vividly recall the helplessness I felt after the sessions initially, and questioned my role in helping them deal with their grief and loss.
God reminded me of His love for them, and ultimately it was His love that yielded the hardest of hearts. I began to make it a habit to pray for each child more and to claim His promises for them. God showed me that my role might well be just to represent to them God’s love, something that they may not have ever experienced in their lives. I realised that simple gestures like writing cards to encourage them of their identity and reassuring them of God’s love meant a lot to them, and a bag full of lollies never failed to do the trick too!
Someone once said that we all are in one way or another, broken, through the many things that happened in our lives. While others may cope maladaptively with it and land themselves in trouble, the large majority of us learn to cope reasonably well with our insecurities, past hurts and sins in our lives. The thing is, that doesn’t change the fact that we are broken, and only by coming to know the love that God has for us individually can we be healed! God had you and me in mind when He gave of Himself, that we may have life and be restored! No mess in our lives is big enough to disqualify us from God’s love for us!
Friend, if you do not yet know Jesus personally, I want to encourage you that just as God’s love is for each broken child, His love is for me and you too! My prayer for you is that you will experience the richness of His love for yourself!
Yun Le Linn
Uni-Generation UQ6, St Lucia Afternoon Service