One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

Posted in: Arrow Stories

Paula from Texas
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paula texasMeet Paula, an arrow from Texas. When she was fifteen, she went on a two-week mission trip to the Philippines—by herself—to join up with an established U.S. missionary doing work there. Then, as soon as she arrived, she discovered that she was scheduled to be the main speaker at a three-day youth revival. "I had never preached before in my life, and I was so scared! But God gave me the words to speak. By the last night we had 125 kids in attendance."

On this trip, God impressed upon Paula that He wanted her to move to the Philippines—right now—to start a youth ministry in Angeles City. Paula knew from past conversations that her parents would be totally against it, partly because she hadn't even graduated yet. But she prayed about it, and when she got home, God had miraculously prepared her parents to say soon as she finished her G.E.D.!

In conjunction with learning a difficult Filipino language in only three months and starting a thriving youth ministry, Paula discipled six youth leaders for two years, and she also began raising two abandoned girls, ages nine and ten. Only a kid herself, you can see her plate has been pretty full. "There were many days when I would look around at the tasks before me," Paula says, "I would see all that God was doing, and be in awe that He was using me, a teenager, to do it! It was amazing!"

But there are the "other" days, too. Paula says after times of slow progress, "There are days when I get discouraged and want to give up. But then there have been times when things came together. Once after a visit to the States, Paula went back and was surprised by how much the kids had grown spiritually in her absence; they seemed like different kids! When she expressed her pleasure about their newfound passion for God, they explained, "We are your plants. You planted us and now we're growing!"

Today, Paula stands amazed. "When I look at these youth and see what God has done in them in the past few years, I'm reminded of my purpose and why God sent me here—to train and disciple these kids to go change their world for Jesus."

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