I tell you truly, I began the task in full obedience to the Lord for everything in me said, "You, Ellen, cannot do this job" and I thought I was right. By October, I knew I was right! I was too small, too untrained, too unable on how to make all the dreams and visions that were budding in my heart for the ministry come to life. I do not say this humbly, but factually-I was unable to do the job, BUT God was.
When I felt confused, He made things clear. When I felt overwhelmed in the storm, He calmed it. When I felt weak, He made me strong. When I had creative ideas on the 'interior design' of the hallways and rooms, He told me to call on Vivian. When I felt completely uncreative, He told me to ask Abby for help. When I wanted pictures of all the girls, He told me to ask Kristina and Bonnie. When I needed my best friend, I knocked on Kelly's door. When I needed advice I just looked at Karen. When questions about the program were asked I directed them to Sheila. When I felt worried, He told me to pray. When I looked at a little girl who was so excited to be there, He showed me to take her hand and skip with her to class. When the girls were arriving each week, He told me to hug, squeeze and kiss them hello. When my teachers felt like they couldn't do it, He gave me a joke to help them laugh. When I felt lonely, He told me to gather my teachers together to pray. When I wanted to cry, He told me to run into my husbands arms.
I wasn't able to do this task, so please believe when I say I couldn't.
It was all God, all the time and I'm so glad.
So, clearly it's been God's impact on Mpact!
So, clearly it's been God's impact on Mpact!
The things that I will look back on with fondness are:
- Welcoming the girls each week with hugs and kisses. I have gotten to know more of the girls in the church than my shy side would have ever have allowed me. One thing I learned is that everyone wants a hug and a kiss hello-even those that act like they don't. Everyone wants to feel remembered, wanted, and welcomed. I will miss that.
-Praying with my teachers each week at 6:50pm. I loved standing in a circle and seeing their beautiful, committed faces. We shared our struggles and lifted them to the only One who could handle them. We also had a time of intersession for the girls, their families, and the ministry. It was powerful. There is nothing like being in agreement with others as you welcome the Holy Spirit.
-The bake sales. It took alot of energy, planning, and plain sweat to pull off a simple bake-sale, but I'd stand back and watch my Star students as they proudly walked from table to table offering a treat. They were so proud of themselves and I was too.
-The 'purple-ly', cheerful Friends Club. Each week the girls were so bouncy and happy for a new week. With each week they grew closer as friends and grew to share the Word of God with each other. They have grown to be my friends too. I love each of those girls so very much.
-The Stars retreat. God used me. He used my horrid, painful, teenage years to touch the life of one hurting child. We have something in common. Something that I had stuffed so deep down inside me that I had almost forgotten it. But when I had time alone with this young girl, and she shared her story, my story came flooding back into my mind like a dam wall had just been broken. I was able to share with her my story AND my victories in Jesus. I will never, ever, forget that powerful moment. (God uses alllll things, everything for His glory and freedom for others).
-Also during the Stars retreat I believed the Lord wanted us to lay hands on each child, one at a time, and pray for them. It was truly amazing to me the visions I received for the girls or words of knowledge for them. They would come and God would speak.
but I will say my absolute favorite memory that I will walk away with is as follows:
Well, during the retreat and praying over this one particular girl I had a vision. So, there we were, all the teachers standing in a circle around this girl, but when I closed my eyes I saw this same girl all grown up and standing next to me praying for a different child. As I continued to look at the vision I saw that this young girl, all grown up was the Mpact Girls Director! I shared the vision with her and told her that I believe that God was saying to her that God was calling her to work with girls when she grows up. I also told her that God was telling her that He wants her to read the Bible and treasure it because she was going to need it.
Okay, fast forward about a month later. This same girl came into my office one Wednesday night to recite her Bible memory verse for me. She came in happy and ready to say it, but when she wanted to say it she completely forgot it.
I took her hands and said, "Do you remember what the Lord spoke to me about your life at the retreat?" she said, "Yes."
"What did He say?"
"He said that I would be sitting where you're sitting some day."
"Yes, and what else did He say?"
"That I would need to know His Wor..."
Then all of a sudden the memory verse that she had forgotten came to her, she stood up straight and began to rattle off the whole verse perfectly!!!
She professed: "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
It was amazing! I hugged that girl so tight, kissed her on top of her head and told her how very proud of her I am.
That was a great moment.
Goodbye to all my sweet and precious teachers, helpers, students and families. I will miss you all. Thank you for welcoming me in and allowing me to serve you.