This summer God blessed me with the opportunity to participate in Rural America Ministries. Namely, I got to spend a month out in southwestern Oklahoma (mostly Cordell, Mangum and Granite) along with three other college students who I can now call my dear friends, Jacob Bos, Kaylee Cowan, and Savanna Harris.
God was constantly at work throughout my time at RAM. At least from my perspective, I would say that He was even working before RAM had officially started this year. I had never spent a summer like this before and I had never been to any of these communities. To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive, and I came close to telling Jim that I didn’t want to do it. However, a voice (which I am convinced was the Holy Spirit) kept telling me that this was the right thing to do, and that this was where God wanted me to be. Had God not been working on my heart before RAM this summer, it would have probably been much different.
I saw God at work through our time canvassing in both Washita and Greer Counties. In Cordell, I knocked on a door of an elderly man who had recently lost his wife. We sat down and talked about it, and I prayed for him. He said he was very appreciative of me coming and seeing him. Although this got me behind on my door knocking for that day, that was an experience which I’ll never forget. He was lonely. He just wanted somebody to come and talk to him. When I answered the door he honestly looked miserable, but by the end we were laughing. It ended by him saying that he would tell his grandchildren about our Summer Encounter program. It felt so good that, if for at least for a little while, I could be a light for someone whose heart was completely broken.
I saw God through the children at both Summer Encounter in Cordell, and VBS in Mangum. I saw how innocent and full of life they were. How trusting they were. I had been struggling with personal issues over the last few months, and sometimes I felt as though that God hadn’t been answering my prayers. In Mangum, however, I overheard a little girl say emphatically that “God listens to your prayers! You just got to shut up and listen!” How simple is that? Adults always to try to make trusting in God more complicated than it really is. It reminded me not to be anxious, but pray and trust God through whatever situation I am in.
I am so extraordinarily thankful that RAM became a part of my summer this year. I am considering going once again. It’s amazing how the church can have such a huge impact in such remote places. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that our impact this summer was positive. God made this journey possible for us.