If you know me just a little you might know a few things about me that I could literally talk about for hours on end (hence why I blog about them instead).
One of those things, or groups of people rather, are the youth group from Classic City Community Church. My sophomore year of college I was on a youth ministry-high from doing Crossfire (a traveling summer youth ministry) and wanted to find a place to pour out this passion. My good friend, Liz, mentioned that Classic City was looking for some volunteers to work with youth. I had never stepped foot in that church, but I emailed the pastor anyway and told him of my interest. The next thing I know I was invited to a dinner with 7 other college students and told that we, 8 young college students, were going to START the youth ministry at the church. What?! I thought I was just going to help out, not plan, organize, and begin a ministry that didn’t exist yet!! But did I run away? Nope. None of us did. Along with the other 7 brave friends that I still love and cherish the youth ministry was born and we named it the Connection.
Fast forward 4 years and I leave my beloved Athens and my beloved youth that have truly become brothers and sisters to me. Seriously, sometimes I liked hanging out with them more than I liked hanging out with people my age haha. So when given the chance to have these wonderful individuals come spend a weekend with Will & I in our new home in Thomasville… I jumped on that!
Our good friend, Josh, brought the kiddos and leaders down for a weekend focused on service, growing as a group, and spending the day at the beach 🙂 We had an absolute blast having a house FULL of people (even with the majority of those people being boys ages 11-14… they’re our faves) and I pray that we get the opportunity to open up our home in that way many, many more times in our lifetime.
A few weeks after their visit, I still hadn’t taken down the “Mess Hall” sign the group had hung in our kitchen. I had also requested that a HILARIOUS photo taken of one of the boys be sent to me immediately to hang on my fridge… I was half joking, but I’m so glad they knew that I really wasn’t joking at all. In our mailbox one day we got the sweetest letter, that wonderful photo, and a perfect token of appreciation that had our hearts written all over it… a Downtown Athens gift card for our next visit to our favorite little college town. I know it sounds silly… but even now, a whole month after their visit, I look at that Mess Hall sign, Tommy’s silly photo, and the I ❤ Athens sticker on our fridge and am reminded of my friends, my heart for that city/ ministry/ church, and how important it is that I continue to walk alongside that piece of my heart in prayer and petition. Prayers that bigger things than I could ever imagine with shake Athens. Mmmm, my heart.
And I’m not kidding… Our kitchen, for as long as I’m concerned, will forever be the mess hall!