July 14

Urban Hope – Day 5 —

Things didn’t go exactly as planned today and once again God showed us he is our provider and protector and a hint of how powerful He is too. These are all things we have been trying to instill in the the kids all week. He is the ultimate superhero: Stronger than Superman, provides more than Professor X did for the X-Men and protects better than Captain America.

And today we drove rental vans down the Garden State Parkway to a river where we went rafting. It was so much fun. At the end of our ride it started getting darker and darker; the thunder getting louder and louder. We all started telling each other to paddle with their hands and move as quickly as possible down the river. The rain drops started as the last three people where getting out of the river. The downpour didn’t hit until we were all in the restaurant. The power didn’t go out until we were all done getting changed. The hail didn’t start until we were all sitting together. All just the slightest sliver of God’s power. The large heavy tubes we had for the river, went blowing across the parking lot like helium balloons and some of the employees had to chase them; some of the guys in our group had to run out to the vans to get things or put things away- all drenched for the seconds they spent out there. The hail was the largest I have ever seen in person. I opened a side door and pulled some in so everyone could hold it. Hail was a new experience for most of the high schoolers. Once were sat, Jeff shared about how we need to process this week ever the next few and make sure we wrote down thoughts and things God had laid on us this week, as it is so easy to slip back into old patterns and forget to implement the new things God has for us. After our time together, there was a break in the rain. We waved goodbyes to everyone in the still darkened restaurant and get back on the road.

I have driven in some heavy rain. But this was in a rental mini-van with six other people, none of whom belong to me, and this rain way insane. People pulled over on the parkway, everyone with their hazards on, everyone slightly frightened. I had to turn the radio off so I could concentrate at one point and no one in the car even blinked at the request. When I finally pulled into the church parking lot, I gave them all a mom speech about doing what they needed to be safe when driving in conditions like that. They all shook their heads; I don’t know if it actually got through, but maybe when hit with rain like that driving, it will pop back up in their minds.

Anyway, they unpacked the van while I checked in with the people in the church. Every single one of the teens was completely drenched. But everything was in and everyone was safe and we were home. It was a day to be remembered as God truly providing and protecting.

Today’s joy is God providing life lessons in such incredible memorable ways.


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