So were finally on the way home. Five dudes in a car with two hundred miles still ahead of us. My heart is beating to the sound of Closer by Nine Inch Nails, I haven’t felt such a high in quite some time. I feel great now but I know in a few hours I will come off my high and must get back to the burdens of life, my drug you ask? Well in order to understand that you must first understand the past two days of my life.
Two days ago we (Adam, Kyle, Paul and Me) loaded into Adams car, a few bags, almost $5000 in electronics, about ten pound of fried chicken and the hope of the joy that was to come our way. Our destination was New York where we would meet up with my friend Scott from college and spend the next 48 hours with. The trip on the way to New York was a blast; we talked about music and girls and what was in store for us. Adam must have eaten at least half the chicken we brought, it seemed like every time we changed highways Adam asked for a few more thighs or legs, and of course we made him eat the occasional biscuit so he would get some grain in him too.
Finally we reached Scotts house, this is where the joy begin. It had been almost 2 months since I have seen Scott my heart was abounding in joy. We finish up catching up and then headed out to buffalo. We reached the inner city and you could see sidewalks filled with businessmen, but within the next few hours the nightclubs would be packed. After what should have been a short ride, if Adam didn’t drive 10 miles in the wrong direction, we arrived at out destination The Buffalo Christian Center.
We walk inside the huge 5-story building, a converted gentleman’s club, the heat nearly suffocates you. We walk into the basement and are greeted with hugs from people that were soaked in sweat from the earlier days work. Despite the suffocating humid air and hard day of work everyone had a smile on their face. This band of 15 high-school students, 3 college students, and 4 or 5 adults had given up their week to go into inner-city buffalo to help with a summer mission camp for 1st -5th grade kids.
Immediately we being talking about what happened that day and were informed of story’s ranging from fist fights to sweet bible teachings. Including the occasional cry invoked at the memory of the salvation earlier that day. You could instantly feel an increase warmth in the air, not because of the lack of air conditioning but because the warmth that was overflowing out of the hearts of these people, out of my friends.
We continued talking for another 20 minutes before heading to Niagara Falls. Despite getting separated a few times (Adam likes to make wrong turns) we get to the falls and peer at the majesty of nature. You can see a beautiful red sunset behind the Canadian skyline with the most intense waterfall in the immediate foreground, a sight that words cannot just-fully describe. I take turns taking with various high-school students and hear even more stories of the day. I can begin to feel my heart reluctantly melt, as I contemplate the love I know Jesus feels for his creation.
Shortly we return to the Christian Center where I hastily lay down for a nap in the gym. Where I was forcefully woken by a one of my friends leaping onto me within the hour. I sit up and watch as everyone is playing floor hockey, in the stuffy windowless gym. Frankly I’m surprised no one passed out from heat exhaustion, all the guys had their shirts off and all the girls in tank tops with their hair pulled up.
This group of guys and girls had spent the whole day dealing with 60+ 1st – 5th grade kids and still had the energy to play a 2 hour long game of floor hockey in at least 90 degree heat. What was so amazing is there was still nothing but loving smiles all around. There was a sense of freedom and enjoyment that is rarely seen in kids anymore. I should tell you about more about what these students had to deal with earlier that day.
The main point of the trip was to serve some lesser privileged kids during the summer. This includes a Varity of activities including, swimming, putt-putt golf, billiards, arts and craft time and the daily bible study and worship service. There was a ration of about 2 college or high school students to nearly15 high-energy kids. While watching over 1 or 2 kids can be hand full I can’t even begin to imagine the stress of watching over 15 5th graders in the middle of summer in an overly hot building.
Even after such a crushing day of work with so many kids the energy of the high-school students was still overflowing. It wasn’t just the energy that was noticeable but the warm thankful hearts. At one time I was also a high-school student and I know I would not have enjoyed participating in this love-centered sacrifice yet these high school students did. On the way back to Scotts’ house that night my heart was overflowing with amazement. I was amazed because of the huge sacrifice that was being made on behalf of reconciling kids with their creator. The next day was a continuation of the same loving sacrifice as the day before.
I departed the Buffalo Christian Center with a high that was unsurpassed by any drug, a high that was induced by witnessing the loving sacrifice of my friends.