World Changers June 24, 2012
John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life is a good summer read. Not just summer, of course, but for everyone who is enjoying a more relaxed life during these months, it is especially helpful.
I have been impressed with one of our young members who is making sure that she isn’t wasting her life. Many of us don’t know her that well. She attended Boca Raton Christian School, came faithfully to our church with her parents during those years and following high school graduation, enrolled in Wheaton College where she’ll be a senior this coming fall. Not many of us have heard what she is doing this summer but it is a mark of her maturity that she has chosen to spend much of the summer in Amsterdam, Netherlands. What is she doing there? She is working with a team of fellow-students running Shelter City, a Christian hostel. And for those of you who are not well acquainted with hostels in European cities, the one where Amy Barnhill is working has almost 200 beds and visited by over 40,000 guests a year (many of them students). She will be working for eight weeks in the hostel café sharing God’s love with those traveling through Amsterdam.
It’s not as if Amy has never gone on mission trips like this before. I haven’t counted, but three years ago she spent two weeks in Madagascar, the world’s 4th largest island off the eastern coast of the African continent, as the organizer of a small team. Two years before, she traveled to Kenya on a similar mission. We can well imagine that these and a variety of other mission experiences, working and ministering in other cultures, have given her a taste of God’s world, somewhat unique for a person her age.
This summer she is a part of one of seven student-led ministries based out of Christian Outreach at Wheaton College. Twenty-six students will be traveling throughout Europe as well as working and staying in hostels in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Bergen, Norway; and Prague, Czech Republic. Although this Youth Hostel Ministry is an outreach program of the college, none of the students receive any financial support from the college. All the needed money ($143,000 for all 26 of them) was raised by soliciting gifts from churches, individuals, friends and family, and fund raising projects. Along with this, she and her teammates began in January to attend weekly orientation and small group meetings, this along with a vigorous study program that involves all Wheaton students.
Amy is in Amsterdam today along with her three team-mates, Maria Krump, Lizzy Brady, and Kristin Glastad, all Wheaton students with probably another six or seven weeks before returning to this country. How stimulating it would be to hear her report about the way the Lord prepared her and ministered through her during her summer break. Don’t waste your life indeed!