God's LOVE Changes Everything

A reflection from Colter Sprague, 10th grade.

Thanks to Hope’s generosity, I was able to attend the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. This was my first time to attend a youth gathering. During this week, I saw God’s love emerge in many different ways.  When we first arrived, we joined 31,000 Lutheran youth and I witnessed their compassion and support of each other even though we were complete strangers. One of the things we did in our congregation was to help weed a garden and do landscape maintenance of community members needing help. The Treasure Valley youth all cooperated and showed love towards these people we barely knew. We ate with them and talked with them and became friends in a very short time. In my opinion, I thought that was amazing that our congregation helped these people in God’s name.

On Sunday of our visit to Houston, the Bishop of the ELCA preached a sermon expressing God’s love and showing it in everyday life. I took her sermon to the heart and reflected it upon how I could continue to show God’s love to other people in the Treasure Valley.  As I thought about this on this on the ride home, I saw even our bus driver, Kyle, reflected God’s love by acting like a brother to us. He interacted with us and had an enthusiastic attitude towards the 40 loud Lutheran Youth (and adults) he had to cope with on the painfully long ride back to Idaho. He could have just driven the bus, but instead, he displayed a love and friendship to us as more than just his passengers. I look forward to being a part of more youth gatherings in the future. Thank you for your support.

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