They’re headquartered in an abandoned monastery that overlooks the Pittsburgh skyline. They live within walking distance from a street notoriously known for its abundance of bars. They help kids in afterschool programs. They reach out to refugee communities. They play basketball, run cosmetology clinics and teach Bible stories. They are Youth With a Mission.
And did I say they love God? They love God…fiercely.
This group of mostly 20-somethings comes from Columbia, St Croix, Australia, Canada, Germany, even Texas. Some have lived in Pittsburgh all their lives. No matter where their country of origin, they each possess a deep passion to show people all over the world what the love of Jesus looks like. Even places like Saudi Arabia where sharing the gospel could land them in prison…or worse. Their love for God compels them to go where he wants them to go and do what he tells them to do.
They don’t consider themselves more righteous than others. His love instills them with courage not only to live in places below the poverty line, but to deal with their own spiritual poverty. They cultivate humble hearts at this former convent. They want to learn how to do life well from the inside out. So they pray. They repent. They forgive. They grow. They give the much-maligned label of Christian a good name.
In the words of song writer Mac Powell, they are running for the heart of God till they are souls on fire.
Being around them reminds me that God wants all of us believers to be souls on fire. Souls who know his love in such a personal way that the blaze keeps burning brighter. The many waters of everyday life cannot quench the flame. The rivers of adversity can’t drown it (Song of Solomon 8:7).
How is the fire in your bones? Are you burning with the love of God? Whether a youth or an octogenarian, it’s never too soon or too late to stoke the coals. To make your mission one of running for the heart of God. Running…till you are a soul on fire….