June 1-3 Gordon, Nebraska – What a privilege it was to meet with bereaved hearts in this small community in northwest Nebraska! Friday night I spoke of the importance, and need, for mourning; how we need mourn well to live and love well again as we learn how to integrate our loss living forward. Young parents grieving their 12-year-old daughter, people grieving divorce, older women grieving the death of their life-long partners. So much pain. Yet it was comforting for their pain to be validated and recognized as life altering and learn tools how to be pro-active in their grief journey.
Saturday I met with a group of leaders who want to be more effective in walking with others in grief. Many were from a local church and staff team. It was a rich afternoon of equipping them and them teaching me. They now feel more empowered to enter into the lives of their community even when it is hard and confusing. One city leader said it was “life changing” for him as it gave him a whole new perspective.
June 14 Shepherd’s Gate Inn – Church leaders gathered to be equipped in how to navigate the grief of their congregations, co-workers, and friends. They were hungry to learn how to care for the bereaved. One pastor wrote, “I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from the seminar, but I certainly got more than I had planned. Thank you for offering me a tool which I sorely needed in my ministerial “tool box.”
Please pray for courage and faith as I follow God’s leading into more roles of grief care.
Music opens the heart for more. As Jessica sang and spoke about her experiences and struggles in high school and how God has truly changed her, students opened up about their lives. God’s offer of love, healing, and hope was received by 225 students as they gave their hearts to Him. Pray as our Australian team and school chaplains follow up with these new believers.
“I love how you opened up and made me feel like not the only broken one.”
“I now believe that His love for us is unconditional and without shortage.”
“I accepted God into my life. I’m letting Him drive now.”
“Thank you for inspiring me to be hopeful and nothing is impossible.”
“I want God to take my pain away.”
It was remarkable for our music team, Stone, to partner with the Von Promnitz family, a count and countess in Poland, who long to share the love of Jesus throughout their country. Our Cru band Stone played at festivals, clubs, and high schools.
From the lead singer Teresa:
“I think we’d all agree that the high school shows were the most amazing. The message seemed to hit right at the heart of the struggles of students. They live in a spiritual culture where they are told they need to be “good enough” to earn God’s love and acceptance. They told me how oppressive and heavy that message weighs on them. I reiterated what I’d shared from stage about how God never intended for us to bear that kind of burden and that Jesus took it on himself by dying for us in order to meet God’s standard of perfection. It was such a privilege to tell them that Jesus accepts them just as they are and to love on them. You could tell these students were so hungry for that hope.”