Last week our church, Community Fellowship, showed the movie “The War Room.” Before the movie played, I had the privilege to talk about hosting a Spanish teen through Young Life USA. I know I’ve recently posted about this opportunity but we are STILL IN NEED of host families so I want to share the words I spoke on Tuesday.
“The War Room,” has a lot to do with prayer and the spiritual battle that we are facing. So as I was reflecting over our experience, I realized our family was able to see first hand the power of prayer, and the spiritual warfare that may come, when we step out of our comfort zone and do something that we don’t necessarily want to do, but we know God wants us to do it.
Last year, with A LOT of hesitation, we decided to host a teen through Young Life. We have four children of our own and we have a revolving door of cousins, friends, and neighbors, coming through our house all the time. But, hosting a teen was something different. It’s one thing for cousins to come over, but an entirely different thing for a stranger to come from another country and live with us for a month. I wasn’t sure I was up to this task.
However, in January of 2015, when CF showed the promotion video for Young Life, I felt a nudging from the Holy Spirit. At that moment, it didn’t matter how I felt or what I thought, or what doubts or hesitations I had, I knew that God wanted our family to be a part of this program. So, in February of last year, without knowing our schedule in July, we filled out the forms to host a teen. I was excited and nervous at the same time. As I hit the send button on the forms I was filled with an unexplainable peace knowing that God was in control. But then I thought, what now? God simply nudged me again and said, PRAY. Pray for your teen, and for your family, for his family, for his country, for his Salvation, and for My message to be spread through Spain and Andorra. So that’s what we did. Colossians 1:9 become our verse for our teen and his country, and it still is. In fact it has become our verse for Young Life, for all the teens that will come this summer and in the years to come. It says, “from the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
It’s SO easy to under estimate God’s power through prayer and it’s SO easy to forget the spiritual battle that we are in. During the months from February to July there were many times I was tempted to listen to the phrases inside my mind that were telling me, “What were we thinking!?” “Why did we sign up to host a teen!?” “We have problems, big problems!?” (Who doesn’t?) “We argue!?” (Who doesn’t?) “Our kids fight!?” (Whose don’t?) “How can God use our family to reach this teen!?” These questions and doubts were from the enemy. He was trying to frustrate us and worry us – because of course he didn’t want us to sign up to host a teen. He didn’t and still doesn’t want families to make themselves available. He doesn’t want Spanish teens to come to our country and hear the message of salvation. He would rather have us stay in our comfort zones and believe the doubts he’s putting in our minds. Thinking, we can’t do it or we don’t want to do it. It will be an inconvenience. Someone else can pick up the slack. Don’t let the enemy win. If you are thinking about hosting a teen do it! As soon as you make the decision, realize it’s in God’s hands. You and your family just need to PRAY, pray for your teen, pray for his or her family, pray knowing and believing that God will place the perfect teen in your house. TRUST, that God has BIG plans. He always accomplishes more than we can ever ask or imagine. If we open up our homes and hearts, give God our doubts, and step into the unknown, I promise you that God will do an amazing work, not only in your family but in the life of your teen and possible in the life of their family and country.
When we signed up last year we were so concerned about the unknowns and worried that it was going to be hard. It’s not hard. In fact, it was pretty EASY and so much FUN. God is in the process. He is working and we are just allowing Him to use us as His vessels to spread His message.
These teens are so excited to come to the US and to live with an American family. They don’t need to be entertained every second of every day. In fact, if you have kids, it’s amazing how easily the kids connect and bond and entertain one another. It’s also a lot of fun to plan activities with your family and your teen, such as taking them to Chicago, or to a baseball game, or out to eat. However, what they really LOVE is just being involved with a Christ-loving Christian family.
Last July was one of the BEST months our family has ever had together. I am so excited to see what God has planned for us and for Young Life USA this July. I am praying that there will be an ABUNDANCE of teens that sign up for this program, and I am also praying that their will be an OVER-FLOWING, OVER-ABUNDANCE of host families.
If you are thinking about it, do it! Don’t doubt, SIGN UP! If you have any questions please check out Community Fellowship at http://www.commfell.org and there you can watch the testimonies of the host families and the teens. I promise you, if you do this it will definitely be worth it!