Main Article – Rapid Distraction

By: Bryan Sampson

I have always been fascinated with how God can use natural wonders to show us spiritual and immaterial truths. Truths that help us gain greater insights into ourselves and into His character (Rom 1:20). The other day I was walking by the river here in Columbus and the rapids were raging. After marveling at the beautiful fury, I began to wonder “what could possibly be going on underneath all of those waves?” I then began to think about how my life is very similar to those rapids. On the top, it can be so busy, so much going on, that it would mimic the rushing white water. Go, go, go! No time to do any self-reflection or to nurture and care for my internal parts. The rapids get all the focus.

When the busyness of life takes center stage, our awareness of what is going on internally can easily drift away. Our lives can easily become roaring rapids, with so much external commotion going on that our inner life begins to be neglected. Paul makes clear that our spirit is in danger of being contaminated (2 Cor. 7:1). When the externals of your life gain more attention than the internal, you will try to manage your brokenness by adjusting and rearranging the externals in your life (Witt, 2018). This only turns a smooth river into white water, as you head for disaster.

I encourage you today to take time to find a quiet place, to do some self-reflection with just you and your Heavenly Father. Don’t miss these God-given opportunities to engage in peaceful personal reflection. These are the moments that keep you healthy, humble, and strengthened to continue to do the job God has set forth. Remember the best gift you can give your spouse, family, and team is a healthy you (Witt, 2018 p. 39).

March Participant Highlight

Name: Hannah Adams

Age: 25

Home Town: Charlotte, NC

Teen Challenege Center: Kansas City Girls Academy

Brief Testimony: I was raised in a Christian home and heard the gospel multiple times before I decided to put my faith in Christ when I was 8 years old. I came to understand that faith in Christ alone is our only hope for salvation. Since then, God has used multiple people and situations in my life to sanctify me and show me just how much I need Him. A verse that comes to mind and that has been convicting for me lately is Revelation 2:5 “you have perseverance and have endured for my name’s sake and have not grown weary. But I have this against you , that you have left your first love.” It can be easy to get so caught up pointing others to Christ that I forget my own need for the gospel; my prayer is that I wouldn’t be like the Ephesians but would be constantly reminded and humbled to depend on God that much more. 

What is the vision and calling God has given you? To be used by God as conduit for life-change for others so that they may be sent out to do the same. My life has been transformed by the gospel and I have a deep desire to share the hope fo the gospel with those God has placed in my life. From a young age (in 2nd grade) I felt God was calling me to ministry and I thought that missions was how He was going to use me in that. As I got older and prayed more specifically for direction and clarity with that call, He showed me that counseling was what He had planned for me to do. Then, at the perfect time, He gave me the opportunity to work at TC to do just that.

How has the ELP Program Impacted You?  So far, I’ve been encouraged that the ministry I am a part of is not my own, but that it is God’s and I just have the privilege to a part of it. It’s also been cool to be reminded that my job as a counselor (or even as a Christian for that matter) is to be obedient and God will bring the change in His time. Trusting in His timing is easier said than done, but it produces and even deeper dependence on Him. 

March TF Highlight

Name: Mike Van Bibber

Age: 69

Home Town: Kansas City, Missouri

Teen Challenege Center: Kansas City Girls Academy

Brief Testimony: I accepted Christ at age 12.  Called to work with young people, I was an educator for 42 years. At retirement God called me to serve at Teen Challenge. When seeking a new position, I decided I no longer wanted to work with “kids”. God obviously had other ideas for me. What a blessing to work with the young women at Teen Challenge.

What do you enjoy most about your role? I enjoy working with a team whose main concerns are leading students to the Lord and keeping hope within their reach.

Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?  We are all leaders in the sense that we are example setters for those around us. Our training inspires us to grow stronger in the Lord while helping us to gain new insights and skills that allow us to be better leaders for our students.