Change is a word that tends to evoke lots of emotion. For some people their hearts leap at the thought of something new. They can’t wait to get out of their same old same old routine. In fact, they’d rather have no routine at all. For others their hearts leap for a different reason… any notion of different causes stress. Change might even be the forbidden word in your house. You might be going through a joyous change or the most the difficult change you’ve ever experienced right now. No matter how you view change I think we could all generally admit two things. First, that change takes energy and effort every time. Second, generally speaking, change is necessary. It’s a part of being human. But perhaps what we all need to admit about change more than anything is that even though God never changes He is all about creating change in us.
You might say that the entire story of scripture is about change. It is God transforming us from dead to alive in Christ. Jesus came and changed everything that people thought they knew about God. The Christian life is one long race we run to change and become more and more like Jesus. That’s why life-change is at the heart our ministry at Joy El. We want transformation because God wants transformation. It’s always a gift when God allows us to see the life-change we strive so hard for.
Life-change can look like a lot of things. In the Christians In Action programs this year I had opportunities to hear stories of life-change. One of my favorites was a girl named Sarah* from Greencastle CIA. The first few times I visited the program in fall I wasn’t even sure this girl could speak. There’s such a thing as being introverted or momentarily shy versus being anxious and even fearful of others. I think she fit in the latter. Seeing her this week at the closing of CIA was amazing because she is one of the most smiley and engaged students of them all. It’s great to hear her grandmother talk about how it’s as if this girl has “flowered” from her time at CIA, and every time she picks her up now from CIA she won’t stop talking. Sarah discovered the joy of a community of believers. From her own profession she now spends more time in God’s word on her own and has learned much this year at CIA. One mentor figure of Sarah’s described her as
being almost like a different kid. Ministry is about changed hearts, desires, and beliefs in addition to behavior. We want to provide opportunities for people to experience life-change through personal encounters with God. We pray more and more young people will be impacted with life-changing experiences through the ministry of Joy El. Pray with us for this change.