A month ago I didn’t know them. Yet when our paths parted Monday I thought my heart might explode with gratitude to God for bringing them into my life.
I had the privilege of serving in Romania for three weeks alongside eleven new friends from William Jessup University in California. I was captivated by their passion for God, their spiritual maturity, their powerful prayers and enthusiastic praise; the way they lavished God’s love on those so thirsty for hope; their authenticity, intentionality, and deep joy; their testimonies, flexibility, selflessness, and their ability to look each other in the eye and speak truth and encouragement.
If I had to sum up their impact in one phrase, I would choose life-giving. Often I return exhausted after being away on a mission trip, but instead, I am simply tired. I don’t feel drained. On the contrary, serving alongside this team was energizing.
I had to catch a flight home to North Carolina a day before their flight to California. The evening before I left, my new friends encircled me and poured their prayers out for me. As my tears flowed, my heart filled. The depth of my love for my new friends is a testimony to the miracle of God knitting our hearts together for His purposes and our joy. The gift of their friendship makes me feel very loved by God!
A long time ago when I was in college I read a book called “God is No Fool” by Lois Cheney. I have always remembered her writing about "Bits and Pieces."
I believe in God’s master plan for our lives. People move in and out of each other’s lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who have touched your life, and you are more because of it, and you would be less if they had not touched you.
Thank God for Team Unity, my brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, partners in the Gospel. I am grateful for the beautiful bits and pieces of you that have made my life more. So much more.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:3-5).