When my husband and I started out in ministry and I was still the youth director's girl friend, we worked (He was paid; I was strictly the volunteer help)at an urban church in a major city. The neighborhood was rough but loaded with kids. In fact the police told us that on those Friday nights when the church held its weekly teen dance, the crime rate was nil. And when one boy was asked why he could run so fast and jump so high, he said he kept in shape running from the cops.
While I have many fond memories of those times, I often wondered if we really made a difference. Were all those youth trips, prayer times, and visits to juvenile hall worth it? That is until through FaceBook one of those "youth" contacted us. It seems that she and a friend were coming to town for an event. Could we all get together? We found a time and met last week.
It was great to see her and we spent an hour reliving and revisiting. As we caught up, it became clear that yes, we had made a difference, at least to her. But of all the kids we hauled in our car and tried to nurture in the faith, I would not have thought she would have followed-up after all these years. I guess you just never know how God uses you. And I hope that all those kids know that I'd do it again gladly.