When you give, lives are being changed! Every Friday, we’re taking a peek at how God is working in the lives of our iCYOUTH students. These servants of Jesus are walking daily by faith as they navigate the hallways and relationships inside their school walls and beyond. Our weekly series highlights what God is up to in their lives in their voices. Leave them some encouragement by commenting!

by Sadie LaBelle

The Many Hands Project of 2013 was a life changing experience.

Not only did we get to spend time with our friends, work hard on houses and lift heavy furniture, but we had the chance every day for a week to share the gospel with our homeowners. That, in itself, is amazing. Then you see how they react to it and how their life is changed by it, and it’s unbelievable.

There were multiple homeowners whose house we worked on or delivered furniture or a starter kit to that didn’t know Jesus at all. Many of them would say they believed in Him, but they really didn’t know anything about Christianity. But when we shared the gospel with them, whether verbally or through our actions, you could just see them light up.

They found hope through us; some of them had nothing. You would walk into their house and the room would be empty. But when they saw what we were doing for them and they heard God’s promise, they were hopeful that their life would work out. It definately changed me, and I’m sure everyone else on the trip, to see this take place; it encouraged us and made us want to work that much harder.

I also saw a change taking place this week was in us kids. For some kids on the trip talking with a stranger and keeping up a conversation comes naturally. But many of us, before coming on this trip, were shy and reserved and had a hard time reaching out to people and talking with them. We got chances this week, though, to talk with our homeowners and put our struggles into practice, and I saw many people changed by this. The students became more open and could continue a conversation for a while. This will be a great help in later mission trips and whenever we get a chance to share the gospel with a friend or neighbor or something.

I wish I could personally thank every single person involved in the trip. All the hard work put in throughout the entire year is crazy. Without all of our leaders this week would have been completely different. They encouraged us, comforted us, listened to any problems we had, figured out all the little (or big) details, drove us everywhere and basically did everything else. Erin and Tarin especially, for us Immanuel girls, were the greatest leaders this week. They were always there when we needed someone to talk to and encouraged us beyond belief.

If it had been any other leaders I don’t think the week would have been the week it was. They were our friends and our leaders all at once. Brandon and Dan, also, were great leaders. They filled the week with fun, laughter, amazing messages, prayer and great guidance. This week would have never happened without them for sure. The many friends we all made this week also shaped our time. The fellowship enjoyed was encouraging and motivating in itself.

I already can’t wait for the Many Hands Project of 2014! I know every year it will continue to get better and every year we’ll get help more and more people to serve God, which is really what it’s all about.

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