The camp counselor/elementary school teacher in me thought about having everyone do a trust fall as our intro this morning, but then on the off chance that that activity was not successful… Betsy might not be thrilled if I break our volunteers before Kids' Day Out! So instead I am just going to talk to y’all about trust and open up with a verse from one of my favorite parts of scripture.
Joshua 1:9 -- "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I'm going to share about 3 types of trust that we see on Legacy Retreats. The first one is a biggie and probably the most obvious.
1. The Trust Our New Families Place on Us
We invited over 30 families to come spend a weekend with us, and that can be scary. I remember when my personal family was served on an NYC Legacy Retreat, and my mom was scared to death that I was going to get kidnapped walking the streets of the city at night. We all reminded her that they would soon return me because I would talk their ears off. But my momma found out that I would be with our volunteer, Lara, that night, and she started to relax. She knew as long as I was with Lara that she would take care of me. It was easier for her to let me go because she trusted our volunteer already.
Today is Kids' Day Out. These parents are trusting us with their most valuable possessions. Their kids. And that is a big responsibility. Based on personal experience with my momma, it is a little easier for these parents to give the rope some slack because of the amazing bonds that happen between a family and their volunteer. It’s the love that is so evident that allows our families to relax for a weekend and trust that we do have their best interests at heart.
2. Trusting Each Other
One of the biggest reasons that IoH is able to run and operate at the exceptional level that it does is because we trust one another to get the job done to the best of our abilities. I know that if I ask one of the Coordinators to help with a family request, they are on top of it and will not stop until they figure out a solution. I trust each volunteer here to serve their family uniquely and wonderfully because we all have the same goal in mind on these retreats -- to love the families and each other with a Christ-like passion that only can come from the Lord.
Each person that is called to serve on a Legacy Retreat is so special to that weekend’s experience. I get so excited reading the list of who all I get to serve with because I know that God has placed them on that specific retreat because only their skills can bring a special weekend to their assigned family. I am continuously in awe of the way our volunteers use their God-given skills for the Kingdom.
And this brings me to the last type of trust I see on these retreats.
3. Trusting God
This one is the hardest for me. And I know it should be the easiest. As Christians, doubting God is not the best look. But I would be lying if I said I always understand His plan. I don’t understand how facing the loss of a parent could be in His plan and how I could trust him in that moment.
I look at the faces in this room and see so many things. I see families who were once served and the pain that goes along with losing someone who you love so immensely. I see people I love more than I could ever dream of and that I would not have met if I hadn’t gotten involved with Inheritance of Hope. I see the uncertainty on the faces of many first-time volunteers who are about to experience the longest Sunday you've ever had!
And in all of the emotions and feelings, I see hope most of all. Hope in a God who left perfection to come down and be with us. To die for us and come back so that we can be with Him in relationship not just in this life but for eternity in the next life. And I have to trust that if God went through all of that for me and for you and for everyone on this retreat, then I can trust that His plan for us is good.
So with that reassurance, I am going to close with this verse that many of you know well. Jeremiah 29:11 -- “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans not to harm you but to give you hope and a future.”
Shelby Jo Lewis is Inheritance of Hope's Marketing Intern. Her family attended the November 2014 NYC Legacy Retreat®. She originally shared this devotional with the April 2019 Orlando Legacy Retreat® team. Read more Inheritance of Hope blogposts >>