Ministers of Grace

This morning is my first day back in the office after a short term mission trip to San Diego. My contribution to our monthly blog is due today and since I can’t stop thinking about the 2012 Summer Teen Mission to San Diego, that is what I will write about… The trip was a great success. We ran a two day sports camp for over fifty kids from City Heights in San Diego. We built a chicken coop, finished a garage so it could be used as a bedroom, installed a play area for children, planted a garden, and beautified a school. We had devotions, spent time in prayer, and were challenged by some great films. We ended the week with a couple hours of surfing and a worship service. We ate well, slept poorly, worked hard. That is what we did. But so much more happened.

Of the more than fifty kids who came to our sports camp, some learned to skip for the first time. Others can now catch, throw, carry, and punt a football properly. Some learned new stretches or heard that there is a correct way to run. But all of them learned three basic rules for life: always do your best, respect other people, follow the rules. And we learned that these things are not only for sports, but for all of life: do everything like you are doing it for God, love your neighbor as yourself, and obey God because he loves you.

As a result of our work projects, the children from one small apartment complex will no longer have to play on hard packed dirt. Families will enjoy a beautiful, flowering garden. Someone (or two or three) will be able to sleep without the fear of rats sharing their space. A school will welcome kids with fresh paint. Two chickens will are safely ensconced in what we call “Fort Knox”- a truly awesome coop!

But even more than that happened – God’s grace was ministered! Each one of us got the amazing privilege of being a conduit of God’s grace to kids and families we didn’t know a week ago but love today. We put into practice 1 Peter 4:1-11:

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

So to my fellow ministers of grace: Adam, Carlo, Charlie, Conner, Dan, Emily, Emma, Griffin, Jacob, Jeremy, Kevin, Morgan, Orlando, Ryan, Savannah, Scott, Steven (Alana), and Zach – thank you for the privilege of ministering side by side with you these past five days. And for all of us, let’s be humbly energetic in ministering God’s grace everywhere and every day in keeping with God’s words and god’s strength so that He will be praised.

Your Pastor,
Bob Bjerkaas

Check out these awesome videos from the trip!

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