encountering GOD… the morning after

“Make me a servant, humble and meek….” The words from the familiar song caused me to stop short. The four young adults cleaning the long-neglected, roach-infested kitchen of this downtown Chattanooga home continued, “Lord, let me lift up those who are weak….”

GODencounters in Georgia-Cumberland Conference had concluded the previous evening for all but ten young adults who were part of this “morning after” service project. During the planning phase of Worship as a Way of Life, the team discussed how it’s great to come together to worship GOD at an event like this, but wanted to take it a step further and live out that life of worship through service on Sunday morning.

The journey of GODencounters making its way to Collegedale, Tennessee, was a long one for me. It began almost one year ago when I met Allan for the first time and, over salad and soup at Panera, asked, how can we make a difference in the lives of young adults in Georgia-Cumberland Conference? The idea of bringing GODencounters to Georgia-Cumberland camp meeting was met with skepticism from more than one of my colleagues, and yet GOD kept opening the doors. Joe Horness was available to come lead worship; Sam Leonor was lined up as our featured speaker; a team of pastors and young adults began email dialogue about our theme–Worship as a Way of Life–and what that really meant to each of us as well as to those who would come to this event.

So when everything finally all came together, there was excitement and exhaustion in the air! The worship was deep and engaging, the messages were food and water for my soul, the energy and enthusiasm brought joy to my heart as young adults encountered the living GOD. But by Saturday night when all was said and done and put away, the last thing I felt like doing was getting up Sunday morning and driving downtown Chattanooga. I had no idea that my most poignant encounter with GOD was yet to come.

I had to stop and pull my head out of the refrigerator I was cleaning. I had to just take a moment and listen to the four ladies singing and scrubbing and smashing roaches. “…and may the prayer of my heart always be, make me a servant….” The ground felt as holy as that of the prayer room. The Spirit blew in and whispered to my heart as I witnessed the hands and feet of Jesus in action. GOD. Encountered.

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

“Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17

Father, may my life be one of worship. May my worship bring joy to Your heart and relief to the oppressed. May I encounter You today in unexpected ways.


About lisahope

Lisa Hope serves as chaplain at Advent House, home of Adventist Christian Fellowship at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and as Director of ACF for Georgia-Cumberland Conference. Lisa loves God, people, deep conversations, being outdoors, learning new things, and anything adventurous!
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4 Responses to encountering GOD… the morning after

  1. Stan Patterson says:

    You guys make me so proud to be a part of this conference. “A” for the God Encounters team. “F” for the roaches!

  2. Steve Haley says:

    Making a difference in the lives of others in fulfilling the Gospel Commission . . . kind of seems like thats really what its all about doesn’t it? Way to Go!

  3. heather Magray says:

    Of all the encounters that i have experienced at GODencounters. Hearing this storing has brought tears to my eyes. This experience is the way in which i most desire to worship God. Even though i couldn’t be there my heart is touched by your action of service. My heart sings for joy knowing that the spirit blew in and touched the oppressed. I am so proud to be considered one of your friends. PRAISE GOD FOR ALL OF YOU!!!

  4. Randy says:

    Lisa, it sounds like your Sunday team had the best God encounter of the whole weekend! I was recently part of a similar project with Deeper and the feeling was just like you said, “The Spirit blew in and whispered to my heart as I witnessed the hands and feet of Jesus in action. GOD. Encountered.” My prayer is that as GODencounters continues to morph new hearts and minds into leaders for the Kingdom that our BEST encounters won’t be in the week, weekend, retreats, prayer rooms, or anywhere on campus. But in our hearts for service as we realize the true importance of Jesus words…

    I was hungry and you fed me,
    I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
    I was homeless and you gave me a room,
    I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
    I was sick and you stopped to visit,
    I was in prison and you came to me.

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