On the Porch with Mallory
So this past summer I was a youth intern at South Plains Church of Christ. I've been a member of that church since 1998 and getting remain there through college was one of the few benefits of not moving off for college. I watched many of my friends struggle to get plugged in at churches they hadn't grown up in. I guess I lucked out. For the summer intern gig, I had been helping with a couple of the classes during my last year at LCU and just on a whim asked if they were looking for summer interns, and BAM, I had a job. I spent most of the first month of summer finishing up a couple history classes then spent the last couple months traveling with the youth group and helping to coordinate the weekly service projects. It was an easy fun job that basically I had an excuse to hang out with some really cool peeps.
The last couple weeks of summer were fast and furious. The beginning of July we went to Mexico to work and play at an orphanage. Then I came home for three days of service projects and frantic packing. Then the two interns (I'm one) went off to prepare the camp a couple days before the rest of the group got there. The last week was a camp run by the youth group for the younger kids at church. I was in charge of the freshmen and sophomores who volunteered their week to do dishes and coordinate whatever needed work during the week. This was a great bunch of young men and women. During our free time they would school me at hacky-sack and we would sneak off at night to crack open glow sticks and have techno parties. This high energy fun was necessary to encourage good attitudes for carrying trash and scrapping syrup off breakfast trays.
I didn't end my time in Lubbock very well. No details here. My youth group didn't know what I'm referring to either. I would stay up particularly late at night (I couldn't sleep) that week, out on the porch of the director's cabin. It was a good watch point to make sure my students wern't sneaking around or getting into too much trouble. One night a young lady, Mallory, joined me on the porch. She sensed that all wasn't well with me. It was easy to pass it off as my nervousness for moving the day after getting back to town. We talked for a long time. She was a huge encouragement to me that night. Her family has been through a lot over the years and I've been with them through a lot of it as well. Her family adopted me very quickly after I started attending the church, I had babysat for their girls, went on their family vacations to the lake, and watched their school performances. Mallory informed me that for years she had looked up to me (God knows why) and lots of other fluffy cute things that are not going to be written here either. Her saying these things to me would just be slightly uncomfortable on any given day but on this particular day, in light of my recent mistakes, she was unknowingly convicting me and reminding me whether I want it or not I am in a position of influence and leadership. This means that I have a responsibility to God and people around me. I don't want to influence people. I mess up all the time. But I do want people to know Jesus and I know Jesus gave us an example of how we should live.