This is a guest post from Kayla Bilby, a student at Oklahoma Christian University and a fellow member of the Contact Church. It first appeared as one of her notes on Facebook. I thought she did a great job of capturing the spirit of the Contact Church.
"During fall break my college group participated in a mission trip to Contact. We went out to both Edenwood & Parkview. It was such a huge blessing to have my college group here experiencing the ministry that I love so much!
"After being at Contact for over a year I have had to learn that often times I will meet children once. They will share their life story, and as my heart breaks I will tell them goodbye, knowing that I may never see them again. This is not always the case. There are also times when a mission group comes to help us & I meet kids that will start coming to Contact & I will get to develop a lasting relationship with them. But more often than not it is the prior scenario.
"Friday I had an experience with a girl that I will probably never see again. Her name was Makayla & she was 9 years old. She began to tell me her life story. Her 9th birthday was this past August. She said that she had stayed the night with her Dad. He acted as though her birthday didn't even exist! She didn't even receive so much as a happy birthday from this man. He cussed her & took her back to her Mom in the middle of the night. Spending a birthday like this had to be unbearable! She went on to say that when she got home her Mom had one cupcake for her. It had very little icing & was just the way she likes it. Her exact statement was, "My Dad was a jerk, but I'm so grateful that my Mom got me a cupcake & made me feel special!" Grateful? How in the world is grateful an emotion you feel when you are so mistreated & devalued by the man who is supposed to love & protect you? This nine year old little girl is stronger then I have ever dreamed of being!
"Hearing her story absolutely broke my heart! I had no idea how to respond to this situation. All I could say was, "Makayla, God is our Daddy that never messes up! HE has never forgotten your birthday & even better then that, you are special to HIM every single day, not just on your birthday." She went on to tell me that she would be moving this coming Monday. I gave her my phone number, hugged her, & walked away. I have no idea what good that will do. I have no way to know if she will ever call me or if I will ever see her again. What I do know is that God was at work during our brief encounter. I am finally figuring out that my job in inner city ministry is not to "fix" the problems in their lives. My job is also not to get them out of their situation. And it certainly is not to minimize the influence that one encounter could have on his or her life. My job is simply to point these kids to the one who CAN. My God CAN and WILL sustain HIS children through whatever life throws at them! Because of this today I am grateful for the opportunity HE has given me to be in ministry. I am grateful for a family who is involved in Contact. I am grateful for a boyfriend who doesn't only support my ministry, but does it with me. I am grateful for all of the kids that I have been blessed to meet through Contact. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet Makayla & I am grateful for what HE will accomplish through these relationships.
"Lord, never allow me to belittle the work that you have began. Help me to remember that you are not finished yet..."