Most of our teens are graduating high school this year, and one is leaving to spend his senior year in the Dominican Republic as a missionary kid. We hope you are encouraged to read how God is lovingly weaving his plan in their lives.
Isaac Cedeño, 11th grade
One verse that has spoken to me recently is Proverbs 16:9, The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. The past few months I had a plan for myself, and I wanted everything to go according to that plan. As time went on I realized that the Lord was establishing my steps in a different way than I expected.
As I prepare to leave as a missionary kid to the Dominican Republic, I am assured by the verse Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, present yourself to God. I know that the Lord has a plan for me. I don’t know what it holds, but I don’t have to be anxious about it. I can rest assured that he has me in his hands.
Marcela Hormann, 12th grade
No shoes, no shirt, no problem . . . . I wish I could agree with you, Kenny Chesney, I really do! I grew up with no shirts, no shoes, but lots of problems. My biological mother was the wife of a gang member and the daughter of a cocaine addict. My biological father abused my mother on a daily basis and was unable to provide for the necessities of home. Our family was happy to have bread on the table and the occasions in which we had clean water to drink were rare, but regardless, we were thankful. We had joy!
In the midst of pain, Karen, Chirley and Maria knew that, for better or for worst, we had each other. Not one of us had a personal relationship with Christ but nonetheless, we prayed. It’s funny, you know? Every human being, regardless of their background, nationality, or history, knows there is a higher power and therein lies the beauty in God’s general revelation.
Either way, I find myself being thankful for the minuscule things in life like the fact that now I have clean water to drink, an abundance of food, a Christian education, the opportunity to attend college, parents that love me unconditionally, and a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!! Rejoice, my heart, rejoice for the creator of the universe loves us!
Katelynn Cerone, 12th grade
This year, I’ve noticed a recurrent theme in the lessons God has been teaching me. From hearing Dr. Goligher preach about them, to learning about them in Maranatha, to reading about them with my mom, God has been teaching me all about the prophets, with the main man on my mind being Jeremiah.
The central thing God has taught me is that I should let their courage and diligence inspire me as I serve Him. I worry about my future, the future of our country, and of the world. Every time I listen to the news, it is abundant with stories of persecution and violence. I feel like now more than ever is the time to let the prophets inspire all of us. They kept spreading God’s message, even when they experienced rejection, depression, and discouragement in their walk with the Lord. The Israelites did not want to hear what Jeremiah had to say, and his constant warning of judgment angered them.
This is true of the world today, as believers who are following God’s instructions are warning the world of impending judgment. Even though some people are not listening, we all must persevere in proclaiming the truth.
Nate Hanrahan, 12th grade
Through the course of the last four years in school, church, and work I have learned a lot. I am the type of person who loves to discuss and argue about anything I know something about and some things that I know nothing about.
One topic I frequently discuss is good and evil, right and wrong. I could talk for hours with anyone about intricacies and theoretical situations and what would be right and wrong in each. Unfortunately, in all of those conversations I had, I never recognized the clear and present danger, which is right and wrong, in my own life. I wanted so much to know what was good and evil, but I didn’t particularly care to differentiate between the two in my every day decision making.
I had this realization while reading in Romans 9: Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. This saying struck me with its simplicity. It does not waste words, but simply lays out a directive on what my attitude must be in regards to good and evil. This verse is crucial to me in avoiding getting caught up in aimless theoretical decisions, and to focus mentally, physically, and emotionally on hating evil and loving what is good.
To Our Readers
No doubt, as you've read these testimonies, you've been touched by the deep work of the Spirit of God in our youth, as have I. Let's pause to ask the Lord's continuing work of grace in all of our youth and to ask now for His provision and protection for our summer Maranatha teams and leaders.
Craig Claudin, wesbite manager