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Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer STM 2013: Justin and Jonathan Zhang Reflections 7/19/13

Jonathan and Justin Blog Day

First off, on behalf of the entire team, we apologize for the negligence in keeping up with the blog.  The past few days have simply been a frenzy of activity and arduous effort from every single member in order to finish our murals on schedule. As always your prayers are greatly appreciated even in light of the lack of updates.

It has truly been God’s miraculous will that we have been able to finish our three murals before Friday and devote this last day completely to the people of Pickstock. Too many times, mission teams fail to recognize that the ultimate root of evangelism is for the hurting people of the nation. Drawing on a wall and waiting for the next lucky missionary to repaint it accomplishes far less than the sowing of seeds and the nurturing of the locals to create strong leaders and warriors for God. Of course, our sweat and blood, mixed with paint and slathered on the walls, testifies to an obvious growth of pride in both the youth of the Youth Hostel and the members of Pickstock. And of course, there exists a deep level of accomplishment and hope for the future of Belize with our symbols of peace and faith. However, the relationships that we build with the kids and adolescents of Pickstock are able to carry far more influence in the furthering of God’s kingdom.

In truth, during the week, my time was unduly spent far more on the materialistic side of mural painting than the building of relationships among the people. Therefore, Friday allowed for an opportunity for me to focus solely on the true purpose of our mission. My acquaintance with Tristan and Stephan began in an almost ironic and nostalgic reflection of teenagers meeting in the Silicon Valley: through an iPhone. I was able to simply talk with the two as they were entranced by this foreign piece of technology that the poverty of Pickstock is unable to afford. Through this conversation, which began on very simple questions, I was able to hear about the widespread violence in the area, the dissatisfaction that their generation had towards Belize but also the work that God was doing in their lives and in their community. I pray that the teenagers of this age that will soon take on the responsibility as leaders of their city and their nation will be able to fully give their lives in service to the Lord. Only through His grace and power can the broiling hatred and tension be transformed into a powerful peace and joy. The teenagers here have truly opened my eyes to the power and need of God.

            Justin: Friday morning was a morning full of anticipation for our team; it was a day of closure and goodbyes. Everyone was excited to see the people they had been sharing with for the past few days, but it was also the last day to show and spread God’s love directly to the kids. For me, I focused on my relationship with a young boy named Tyler. It was the first time I felt I had any influence on anybody. He treated me like an older brother as he took my hand wherever he walked. This was the point in the entire trip I had learned the most from. This was when I had realized that this was the type of adoration and admiration God wants from us.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing, Jonathan and Justin. It demonstrates the power of God that all three murals got finished and young people are knowing Him. The God seeds have been planted and we will see them grow bigger and bigger.