This past Sunday at youth group we were blessed by the Ritsema family with some excellent food, had some laughs, prayed for snow days, and learned how to be a good friend to those in need by looking at Elijah!
The third week of our “being with” series took us back to 1 Kings 18, where we read about Elijah and the widow. At first glance, some of our students thought that Elijah was a bit of a jerk for asking a woman for food in the midst of a drought. Especially considering that she was gathering sticks to go home and cook the last little bit of food that she had for herself and her son, Elijah’s request seemed a bit tone deaf. As we kept reading and students saw that Elijah was being used by God to provide for this woman, it started to click for them. Not only did Elijah ask for some food, he also stayed with the woman and got to know her before moving on.
After digging into the Bible I asked if any students knew someone who might be “in need.” It’s easy to take our basic needs for granted when they’re met, especially when most people around us are in the same boat. Most students couldn't think of anyone they knew who might not know where their next meal was coming from, or didn’t have a house, but admitted that those people certainly existed around them. We face an even greater challenge in West Michigan where asking for help is still stigmatized, so finding ways to help people in need when they don’t want to ask for help in the first place requires us to seek those people out.
We spent some time in debrief groups talking about how to help people while maintaining their dignity (not with those words exactly :) and how we can be thankful for the way God has provided for us.
Next week there is no youth group, because we get to meet instead! The following week we will be wrapping up our series on being a good friend to those who need hope!
Thanks for stopping by!