For one week of my life I was surrounded by some amazing people while staying at the LA Dream Center. Not only was the staff there welcoming, but so were the people in the community. I had the opportunity to connect with so many different people, and be a light in so many different ways.
But what I enjoyed most about the trip was that, while my team and I spent our week pouring out to others in the community, God was still faithful to fill each of us up internally through building relationships with each other.
Going into the trip I heard so many perspectives of others who had also went to the Dream Center, and how it changed their lives and what a great experience they had while in LA. Although it was nice to hear their experiences and receive encouraging words, I really couldn’t grasp the concept of it all until we were immersed in serving the community daily!
It was such an amazing opportunity to help share in the Dream Centers mission to help serve others in the community and to help be a light of truth for God’s Kingdom. Ultimately it wasn’t just about giving them food, or helping meet physical everyday needs; everything we touched was to help plant a seed. Some things we saw come to life, others we didn’t. But everything we did was with purpose.
This trip really helped me get out of my comfort zone. It was only by the grace of God and the courage of the Holy Spirit working in me that I was able to open up to my teammates, have transparent moments and also be a light to them as they were lights in my life as well. Watching all of my teammates grow in a week was such a journey. One that happened before our eyes without us even really knowing. God knew exactly who to put in our team, because we all worked very well together, and he used each and every one of us for his purpose. We all walked away changed and more on fire than when we came. We all have something we’re able to take back to Jacksonville and continue to grow in the way that the Lord is taking our lives.
If I could do it all over again, I would. I’m so glad I took a step of faith through this whole process. From the moment I walked into the room for the initial interest meeting last Fall, to going through fundraising and gathering money to go, to the actual trip and how it made me a better person. I saw how much more I could be giving and serving in my own community and reaching for others to draw them closer to God through love. If I had to take away one thing, it would be that we can’t just keep God’s love and his faithfulness to ourselves, or to those who are already in church. But that he wants us to take what he’s given us and spread it to others who really need it. Be a light to those who don’t know about God, but are searching for hope and for love. We can’t be afraid to live a life of love that draws people to God.
Thank you to my team! You girls were amazing and each of you blessed me more than you know. I am praying that each of us continues to stay on fire for Christ. He lit the fire in all of us in LA with a renewed passion and I pray that same fire pushes us further in our walk. God has some exciting things he wants to do for each of us and I am so happy I got to meet all of you and share in this experience. We were truly a “Dream Team.”