When our DTS outreach teams were first announced, my team spent time praying together and seeking God for what He wanted to do in and through us over the next few months. A couple of words and ideas stood out, one of which was the word “kind” as well as the idea that “kindness leads to repentance.” Our first outreach location was Tamworth, a country town in New South Wales, Australia.
While we were there, I saw just how important kindness actually is.
My first week of outreach was spent at a water sports camp full of energetic 12-18-year-old kids hosted by Scripture Union NSW. While helping out I met a young girl, let’s call her Meg, who seemed to have come with a heavy heart and a hard conscience. She wore her emotions on her sleeve and tried to gain the attention of others in ways that did the exact opposite, causing others to avoid her. As I got to know her, I found similarities in our personalities.
She reminded me of myself before I truly understood Jesus’ love.
Over the week at camp, I sat with Meg multiple times, simply being a friend and getting to know her. For the first few days we didn’t have a strong connection, but I sensed something was bubbling up. One night, my team shared a message with the campers and afterwards, they were invited to come forward if they wanted prayer. I had just finished praying with one youth when I saw Meg in the corner of my vision, just waiting.
I sat down next to her and the instant I asked if anything was wrong, she began to speak, pouring out her heart.
She spoke of how she had been coming to this camp for multiple years and saw breakthrough after breakthrough, but couldn’t ever feel satisfied or constant in her relationship with Jesus. She mentioned her struggle with a number of issues revolving around depression. The message we’d shared stirred up something in her heart which began to play itself out over the next 24 hours.
The following night we had a similar session and the speaker gave an awesome message packed full of life lessons. As he wrapped up, the invitation to connect with Jesus was again offered. As the message was ending we moved into a time of praise, the worship music beginning to play. However, halfway through the song, it began to pour down with rain! The electronic music equipment was turned off and the worship leader came down into the middle of the tent; with only an acoustic guitar, he started worshipping. I sat by Meg and we put our arms around each other’s shoulders. I began to sing and, when I opened my eyes five minutes later, she was sobbing on my shoulder.
Meg shared that this was the first time she had ever raised her hands during worship; she felt so free and so deeply connected with Christ.
Over the following days Meg was always wanting to hang out with us. I could tell by her words and behaviour that she truly felt free and loved. Reflecting back, I saw how throughout the week, the Holy Spirit was warming Meg’s heart.
Step by step, through my decision to simply be kind, to listen, to spend intentional time with her when no one else would, He spoke to her.
It was such a blessing to watch this beautiful girl move from a place of brokenness to a place of freedom and begin the process of healing.
by Audrey App
YWAM DTS – Compassion Student