REACH Update: Arizona

Submitted by Evermore on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 8:49am

Hello supporters!

I just wanted to start off by saying that God has been revealing to me just how blessed I have been.  One of those blessings is you guys back at Evermore!  The continual support that I have received from back home is something that continues to encourage and humble me.  I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to reach out in Phoenix to those who are eager to hear about God’s goodness, on behalf of Evermore.  It’s because of God’s faithfulness and the family I have back at Evermore that I was able to come out here in the first place.  From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone for your financial support, prayers, and for everyone involved in the church that has helped me grow in my spiritual maturity. 

As far as what’s going on in Phoenix, we are continuing to work and hangout with the youth.  God has blessed AIM Right Ministries with a fantastic group of kids (of all ages), along with a God-fearing staff.  Of which I am blessed and honored to be a part of.  If I had to choose one characteristic that I love most about Aim Right, it’d probably be how accepting they are.  No matter who the kid is, what they’ve done, who they hang out with, or where they come from…Aim Right accepts them with open arms.  Not only that, but they search out those in the community to embrace; with love being the motivation.  It’s so encouraging to see other believers who genuinely care for others inside and outside of the church.

Another thing that I have come to realize is just how stretching and challenging it is to contain and teach a class on 3rd and 4th graders.  I mean…wow.  Talk about humbling.  When a 3rd grader gives you more attitude than you know what to do with, it’s easy to react out of a place of frustration and anger.  But that’s not how they do it here at Aim Right.  They are very particular on how they treat their youth, especially “Kingdom Kids.” (grades 1-6) They teach you how to look at the kids for who they are, not for what they do.  I’ve learned that most kids, especially in inner city environments, have learned/been raised to talk back. 

Because a lot of the time, that is there only logical response to an adult who constantly talks down at them.  So instead of shouting and demanding, we listen to them.  We remove them from the situation and allow them to share with us what happened or why they did what they did.  And in doing so, even if what the kid did was obviously wrong, you show them that what they have to say truly does matter.  Often, they will realize that what they did was in fact wrong, and apologize.

All that to say, I am very grateful for all the Sunday School teachers and youth leaders that have taught me and mentored me over the years.  What you’ve done, and may continue to do is far from easy.  You truly made a major impact in my life and the lives of plenty of other children.  Thank you to those who have shown me that I have value and a purpose in this life.  Whether you taught a Sunday School class, or you volunteered during a VBS, your efforts have not gone unnoticed. 

Besides patience, God has shown me a lot about myself and how selfish I can be.  Those selfish ambitions aren’t always as obvious as we expect them to be.  It’s a lot easier to recognize it as “independence: more than it is to see it as “selfishness.”  That has been something God has been exposing me to recently.  Am I letting others love me?  Or am I allowing my own self efficiency and pride get in between me and my peer’s relationships.  A relationship can often be seen as one-sided; when one person seems to neglect the fact that he/she is unintentionally making the other person feel unwanted or unneeded.  God has opened my eyes to that truth and those tendencies that I have in my own life.  I have been able to recognize when those unspoken feelings are affecting a relationship in a negative way.  Which can and will cause damage and unresolved, silent conflict.

I could go on for pages, but I will spare you the time.  Our team is getting ready to spend the next two weeks in Mexico.  Where we will be building houses and fellowshiping with other believers.  Prayers for the trip would be well appreciated. (The Mexico trip was canceled due to the virus.)  I love you all and can’t wait to return.  But I can’t help but match that excitement with the joy that this ministry and this place brings me.  Thank you all again for taking the time out of your day to catch up with what I’ve been up to.

-Jeremiah Hershberger