Stretching To A New Focus – Guest Post by Leah Adams
Today, The Stretched Blog features guest blogger, Leah Adams. Leah blogs over at The Point. I’m grateful to share Leah’s story about how she feels STRETCHED these days. As always, stop over to her blog after you read her post. Become one of her regular readers. Leah’s bio and contact information are at the bottom of this post.
(If you are feeling that STRETCHING feeling these days, I’d love to share your STRETCHING experience here. Drop me a line if you’re interested in becoming a guest blogger.)
I think God is the originator of the concept of stretching. He never lets us be comfortable for very long before He sends us a challenge designed to stretch our faith in Him.
So it is with me and the ministry He called me to several years ago. My passion is speaking. Specifically, my passion is teaching the Word of God. The focus of that passion has been speaking to women about the love and grace of Jesus. That is what God has allowed me to do for the past four years.
Now, it seems that He has decided it is time for Leah to S-T-R-E-E-E-E-T-C-H. In the past year the Lord has sparked a fire in my heart for young men and women in the 16 to 29 age range. Why this group? Probably, because this is a hugely unreached group with regard to the church. It all started when I read David Kinnaman’s book entitled unchristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters. Peeps, we are losing this generation of young people from the church and it is primarily because we, in the church, often do not act like Christ would have acted. We don’t love like Christ. We don’t care like Christ. Because of that, WE are driving young people away from the church by the thousands.
Last fall, I had the opportunity to become involved with a couple who do ministry to international students studying in the US. Oh my word! My eyes were opened to a huge, wide open mission field. There are thousands of students from other countries studying in the United States and over 90% of them are never inside an American home. What a missed opportunity to share Jesus’ love!
These students are eager to learn about American culture and engage with American people, yet, we never take the time to get to know them, show them we care, be there for them if they have a problem. We could so easily be surrogate family to these students who are thousands of miles away from home, yet the church of Jesus is often oblivious to them.
There is a small, four year college very near my home in rural northern Georgia. I called over to the admissions office one day in the fall of 2011 and asked if they had any international students. I figured I was wasting my time, but felt the urging of the Lord to call, so I did. I was stunned when they told me they had 38 international students. Thirty eight international students right on my doorstep! My heart did back-flips.
My Tuesday morning Bible study ladies and I have begun to engage with these students. We took them goodies bags during fall semester final exams. We did a meet and greet with them. In late February we plan to do a bonfire and marshmallow roast for them. A bowling trip. Provide rides to the grocery for them. Movie night. Anything we can do to show them friendship and love is what we plan to do.
Last week I sat with one young man—and when I say young man, I mean probably 18 years old at the most—who had been at the local college for only 2 weeks. He was a soft-spoken runner from Kenya. We talked about how he likes America, his scholarship to run, and when he would go back home to visit. He told me he would not go back for 5 years. FIVE STINKING YEARS without seeing his family! I nearly bawled right in front of him. He is just a baby and he will be in a strange foreign country where he knows no one for 5 years. He held back tears as we spoke, too.
Ya’ll, this is low hanging fruit as far as I am concerned. These young men and women are so hungry for love and family. To show the love of Jesus to these students is my new passion and it is how God is S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G me.
How have you been STRETCHED in your focus recently?
Leah describes herself as the “prodigal son’s sister” after spending several years walking far from the Lord in her twenties. Helping others understand the grace that is offered by Jesus to anyone who will accept it is the passion of Leah’s heart. In a works-based and failure-prone society, grace is a concept that many people have difficulty grasping and Leah’s speaking and writing ministry, called The Point Ministries, seeks to point others straight to Jesus and his amazing grace.
An anointed speaker and communicator, Leah lives in northern Georgia with her husband, Greg, who is also her dentist. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Mercer University School of Pharmacy. Leah is a CLASS certified speaker and is the author of a Bible study for ladies entitled, From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest: Creating a Godly Legacy. She writes for Internet Café Devotions, CBN.com and Christianparenting.org. Visit Leah at her ministry website at www.leahadams.org. Find Leah on Facebook at Leah Colwell Adams and on Twitter (@PointMinistries).