Find Common Ground
Our new youth leader recently took our group to a youth rally—one of the best church activities I’ve ever attended. Hundreds of youth gathered to listen to Jesse Manibusan and to sing, pray, and have fun! But what amazed me most was that all sorts of teens—“sport stars,” “nerds,” and “music geeks”—could look past our differences and acknowledge our common belief. I know one thing for certain: God was definitely there.
Michelle Ankrum [Marshalltown, IA]
Bridge the Distance
I have kept in touch with my long-distance friends because I value their positive influence on me. Often they help me with problems I can’t discuss with friends who live closer. Many of my long-distance friends help me to have a better relationship with God and with myself. Sometimes time zones and busy schedules make it hard to connect. But when we do have time to talk, I am grateful that we can still be friends no matter the distance.
Kait Bonn [Kennesaw, GA]
Speak from the Heart
She was only 10 when I first met her. She spoke a language I barely knew. Yet both her smile and her arms snuggled around my waist spoke of our friendship in a way that transcended language. Saying goodbye was hard. I wondered if I would see her again.
When I returned to Guatemala the next year, she wrapped both arms around me so tightly I could hardly move. I hoped I’d be back again.
This past summer, my now 12-year-old friend greeted me with a hug and a gift. Fingering the necklace from this sweet girl who has so much less than I do, I know I will return once again to her smiles and hugs—the most important language of all.
Megan Ellenberger [Stevens, PA]
Serve in Your Own Backyard
To be the hands and feet of Christ, we don’t need to travel overseas. People in our hometown could use our help. Find friends who are going through a tough time, and listen to their stories. Volunteer to serve a meal in a local soup kitchen. Donate items to a charitable organization. Volunteer to cut a neighbor’s grass or to babysit so parents have a chance to reconnect. These acts of service might not seem like a big deal to you, but they can make a huge difference in someone else’s life.
Tynea Lewis [New Holland, PA]
JUNE 24, 2018
NEXT DAY STRETCH
Pray for Unity
May our circle become Christ’s circle
where all are welcome and none forgotten;
where our uniqueness is affirmed and our hidden gifts revealed;
where we care for the suffering and rebuild the world;
where we deepen in faith and discover our part in the drama
of God’s redeeming love.
May our circle become Christ’s circle.
Hope Harle-Mould [Kenmore, KY]