Over the past few months, Impact 360 Fellows Class XVI has been presented with what it looks like to follow God’s will in visible, tangible ways. With our class divided in half between Brazil and Kentucky, the concept of submission to God’s plan became more than a mere topic of discussion. Very quickly, the Lord gave our team a sense of peace and purpose as He split us in two and sent us to different continents. As soon as we arrived in Louisville and began working with various ministries, we were filled with a spirit of peace.
Kendall Walker confessed, “I feel very much at peace because after coming here, I recognized this was providential.” Anna Alsobrook said, “I feel like I’m really making a difference here and I’m not sure if I would have felt that in Brazil.”
The first week of our trip was spent working with multiple ministries. We partnered with the Kentucky Derby Racetrack Chaplaincy where we led a chapel service, painted a Sunday-school room, organized free clothing closets, and helped create decorations for VBS. Other organizations, such as Reach and Teach ministries and Scarlet Hope, met with us and shared what they do and why they do it. All these operations were new to us. Seeing how God is at work right here, right now has been incredibly eye-opening for our team. “These experiences have shown me how I can deal with these heavy things in a practical way without just feeling upset about it,” said Nikki Morris. We learned that there are people working to send missionaries abroad, reach women in sex trafficking, and provide emotional and physical relief from tornadoes.
As our team transitioned to Mayfield, KY, our focus shifted from listening to doing. The city of Mayfield received us and set us to work gathering garbage and debris from around the town and distributing food and necessities to those who lost their homes in the storm. We got our hands’ dirty dumping trash bags into the bed of a truck, all while spreading God’s joy to those in the community. Giuliana, one of our Brazilian team members shared, “We all could be in these circumstances. This experience has made me super grateful, and I want to spread this joy around!” This joyfulness and readiness to serve was visible to those we worked with. On our second day, the local news network was notified of our work and came out to feature us in an article. It has been incredible to see the ways God has shown himself through our work.
Following the will of God when it disrupts our premade plans can be difficult and counterintuitive, especially when He closes all other doors as He did for us. However, submission involves both behavior and attitude. To see our class adjust so quickly and gracefully to these unforeseen circumstances has been an immense blessing to witness and be part of.
The things we are accomplishing here in KY are, without a doubt, what we are meant to be doing right now. By growing in our capacity to abide in Christ, our teams have been able to be unified in service and energize each other to continue this servant leadership even after we return home.
by Nathan Lewis