Community Summer Missions Project 2014 – Ann Arbor

by Xinxin Zhou

Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned—and am continuing to learn—during this past summer with our Community Summer Missions Project is that God is eternally abundant in His faithfulness and grace. He is always committed to His glory, even as I may stumble and fall. Throughout the month of ministry, I witnessed this a countless number of times. I had the privilege of being a part of Excel English puppet team and Cesar Chavez Academy’s Fusion program. Fusion was a program where the CSMP Detroit team introduced high schoolers to different extracurricular activities such as painting, dance, cooking, and engineering projects. God was demonstrating through these different ministries just how powerfully He would always work. After a month of getting to know a group of CCA students really well, I felt like God was just beginning to open up their hearts. During the very last day of Fusion, we gave our different squads tours of the UofM campus. It was a fun day, but there was always just this impending sense of sadness as we knew we would have to leave our separate ways soon.

The last stop in our tour was the Transformation Center. How symbolic that seems now. Our squad talked about what we saw on campus, what we liked and didn’t, and what we learned. Unexpectedly, the sharing became more and more personal, so I decided to end our time with an opportunity for each student to lift up a prayer before parting ways. What happened next I could not have anticipated.

To my surprise, it was two of our most elusive members that shared with heartbreaking honesty. One student shared about how for a long time she’s held unforgiveness towards her family and how she wanted to apologize to God. Another student shared how he’s fearful to make relationships in case of getting hurt. He shared about how he made jokes to feel important to others. I was so moved. Never would I have ever anticipated such genuineness from these two students, but just to see how much God had worked on their hearts was too overwhelming. We even got to a point comfortable enough, where I got to share my personal testimony and the Gospel. I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt, God has planted seeds of faith into the hearts of these kids and it’s crazy to see them still sharing prayer requests with me to this day.

It was difficult to leave the students after that tour day, to see all that God had just begun and not be able to continually invest personally. I had failed to see with eyes of faith and I needed to constantly surrender the students to a perfectly sovereign God, knowing that they were in trustworthy hands. I know the same God Who brought these relationships together would be the same One faithfully working in their hearts long after I’m gone. Once again it was this idea that He would be the one to build up His Kingdom and glory. I just had the great joy of being part of the journey. Our God is too too good.