Story and photos by Stephanie Kim.
“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13, NIV)
Recently FBC’s youth ministry requested volunteers for host homes for DiscipleNow (DNow) weekend. I very hesitantly agreed, secretly hoping they would have enough other volunteers so that my home wouldn’t be needed. But I soon heard from them how much they appreciated my offer.
As the weekend approached, I became nervous. I can play flute in front of thousands but don’t ask me to host a few teenagers. After all, I’m a single mom with no one to help me through the weekend. But the youth ministry assigned a group leader to stay in my home.
I have to care for my 10-year-old daughter, who is intellectually disabled and requires lots of sleep. To honor this, the youth ministry arranged rides for the late nights so I could get her to bed early.
I don’t know how to cook anything that doesn’t come out of the freezer, and to my relief, the youth ministry provided Saturday night dinner – lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and bread for me to simply heat and serve.
I don’t have a large house that is beautifully decorated and meticulously clean and organized, but God did bless me with a home that seems to be “just right.”
As I prayed about DNow weekend, I opened my heart to God:
May this weekend have an everlasting impact on these youths as they discover their spiritual gifts; help them to grow spiritually, becoming one body in Christ as they have a memorable and fun time together; may the youths who stay in my home feel welcome and blessed; please help me not to burn the lasagna; may there be no tantrums, drama, or escapes by my daughter or the teens; Lord, help me because I really don’t know what I have committed myself to!
At last, Friday night came, and I vaguely recognized a few of the five 10th-grade girls I would be hosting. But I couldn’t imagine the blessing I would receive as I got to know them and their leader, Kelly Joyner, over the weekend. Though these girls had diverse backgrounds and interests, they joined together as one Body of Christ and blessed me with their grateful hearts and sweet spirits. It was not at all what I had expected from teenage girls. I now have built relationships with them and pray for each of them by name.
The passion of the youth leaders inspired me. As I worked with them and other volunteers, I discovered connections with people outside of my usual groups at church. The DNow message challenged me to discover my own spiritual gifts, find my passion, figure out what I’m good at, and use all of it for God’s glory. So if my small contribution to this amazing event is to provide a place for some youths to escape to for a weekend, I would joyfully do it again.