Puerto Rico Reflection

I am so very blessed to be part of an amazing church that believes in being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ! This past week, I was part of a mission group of high school students and chaperones who traveled to Puerto Rico to serve. You may be aware of the myriad of issues facing Puerto Rico which erupted into massive protests in the streets while we were there. A decade-long recession, a mass exodus of Puerto Ricans to the US and the recent charges of corruption against Governor Ricardo Rossello and many high-ranking officials in his administration have all led to the island’s dire circumstances. And, dire is no exaggeration. Already in distress, the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. It’s hard to wrap your head around all the things that are going just so, so wrong for people on the island and it’s hard to imagine how they will ever regain what they have lost. The decline is palpable. But it’s also clear that the people of Puerto Rico are resilient. They are joyful, when to be honest, there’s not a lot to be joyful about.

I believe that God has something for each of us and that when we step out in faith, we are rewarded beyond what we could have ever imagined. I believe God wanted me to see His ability to transcend circumstances. That He wanted me to see that it is possible to find impossible joy if you have faith. That He wanted to reassure me that the relationships my son has built through this student ministry will carry him through college. That He wanted me to see, if I just slowed down, I could witness Him at work.

God was on the move all week in Puerto Rico. In big ways and small ways. Our group of 96 performed demolition, replaced roofs, installed soffits, scraped, painted, cleaned, prepared fields for planting, fellowshipped, shared testimony, sang and gave praise to the Lord. It was a powerful experience and one I will not forget.

It has been my privilege to come alongside so many passionate and talented leaders in this ministry to serve our students. To see the love that Christian, Rebekah and Ashley pour into these kids is downright inspiring. It has been my absolute joy to watch these kids grow from awkward and gawky middle schoolers into poised and articulate young adults. I think anyone would tell you that when it came time stand up for the seniors, I fell apart. I am so in awe of who they are, every single one. Each one stood up and spoke about how thankful they were to be a part of the student ministry and how it has shaped who they are. They are unafraid to be bold about who they are and  whose they are. These kids – freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors – are going to change the world.

If you are a parent of a middle or high schooler who has not yet attended our student ministry, I encourage you to get your kids to church on Wednesday nights, on Sunday mornings and on Sunday nights. I know they may not want to go, that they might have practice, that they don’t have friends that do ministry, but can I tell you that it will change their lives? And, yours.

-Becky Felton, Mother of Davis Felton (12th) and Sarah Tate Felton (8th)

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