Family of God

Dylan Green, 17

In the summer of my sophomore year, my youth group went on a mission trip to Jamaica, where we hosted a Vacation Bible School. We expected to meet amazing people and to see God work in remarkable ways. We didn’t expect to extend our family.

The First Few Days

Mission Team 969672_399320036856428_226952563_nAs our plane touched down in Kingston, Jamaica, all of us were beaming with excitement and anticipation. A few hours later, we reached the church we would call home for the next week. We ended the day by walking over to a neighborhood park and playing with the kids who were hanging out there.

We spent the next day spreading the word about the Vacation Bible School we would offer in a nearby community. That evening, we learned of an opportunity to go to an orphanage to play with the kids who lived there. We expected the visit to last a couple of hours and to be our only time at the orphanage, but God had other plans.

The Orphanage

When we arrived, we saw only a few kids standing in the courtyard. We piled out of the bus and entered the gates. Once most of the children had come outside, we all sat down and one of the women in charge of the orphanage introduced our group. Then we led the VBS lesson we had planned the night before. We connected with the kids almost immediately as we gave them piggy-back rides around the yard, taught and learned hand-games, and acted out Bible stories with puppets. The children waved as we left, and we waved and shouted back to them.

Dylan Mission Team2 740392_562695467122158_1714660786_o copyThe next day, we were thrilled to learn that we would be able to go to the orphanage again. When we arrived, we piled out of the bus and ran into the yard to find the children we had met the day before.

I spent most of the time with Daniel and Kumaree. That morning and the next, after we had taught the lesson for VBS, Daniel spent most of his time on my shoulders as we played a variety of games. On the third day, Kumaree walked the two of us around, telling people that Daniel and I were in jail and that we kept trying to break out. As I looked around the orphanage that day, I we saw not Americans and Jamaicans but children of God.

Over three short days, our two distinct groups had merged into one big family, joined by the love of Christ. Our Christian family does not consist only of our biological family and close friends. It includes everyone, from every culture and background, who claims Jesus Christ as Lord. The vastness and diversity of our family have no limits.



We are all God’s children, members of God’s family. Picture a worldwide family with people of every nationality, background, skin color, and appearance. Imagine what would happen if everyone treated one another as family, with love and compassion. How different would our world be? Find ways to make that picture a reality, one brother or sister at a time.

Dylan Green, 17 , a senior at Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville, Tennessee, enjoys writing short stories and playing tennis; but his favorite thing is going to youth group at Trevecca Community Church, where it feels like home.

—from devozine (November/December 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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