GP Story: Welcome to the Family
Part Two of my Global Partnership Story from this summer
Ava* was extremely curious about the Bible well before we arrived. She had developed a deep friendship with a long term missionary in which she was first introduced to Jesus. So on our arrival, she was excited to ask us a bunch of questions she had. Because we had to be careful about sharing our faith in the summer camp program, Ava and her partner Leah would sneak away to Ava’s teacher’s apartment to read the Bible together. They both had a blast, and it was the best excuse we could think of to skip out on parts of the program.
As Ava and Leah developed their friendship, Leah decided Ava might be open to choosing Jesus for herself, so she invited her to ‘join the family’. Ava said that while she liked Jesus, she had a good life without him, so declined the invitation. Leah was saddened, but still dug into relationship. A week later, we led a movie study on the film ‘Stranger Than Fiction’, and asked the poignant question “Who do you go to when your life’s story is going awry? Who is you life’s author?” Ava left this film deeply moved and asking herself a lot of questions. A few days later we left the school, entered our debrief, and prepared to return home.
Something shifted for Ava after that movie, and on the final day of debrief we received a text message saying that she had decided to join the family and follow Jesus! As a team we celebrated with shouts of joy, tears, hugging, singing, dancing, and ice cream! The best part of it all is Ava’s first profession of faith. A few days after we left, Ava was spending time with her classmate Jess, another student from the program who was curious about Jesus, when Jess said, “Hey, there’s something different about you. Are you a Christian now?” Ava’s response was a sudden “YES!” She knew she loved Jesus and wanted to align herself with him. What better place could there be to profess faith than in the presence of someone who is curious.
So what’s Ava been up to since we left? She decided to start a bible study in her school and gathered all of the students from the summer camp together so that she could tell her conversion story. It’s a big leap to share these stories with her classmates, but she does it with zeal and enthusiasm! Some of us are going back this summer, and we can’t wait to see what God is doing in the midst of these people we’ve grown to love so much!
*Identities changed to honour individuals