The Least of These

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For the past 3 weeks at BSM North, we've been in our "Do Something" series, where we've been examining and discussing the realities of our faith and the calling we have as Christians to turn our love for Jesus into action towards others. Last night we wrapped up the series by looking at Matthew 25:31-46 – where we see Jesus on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.

The story that Jesus brings up is one that most of us are familiar with: Jesus, at the end of time, has every nation, tribe, and tongue standing before him. He has sorted some of them to his left, and some of them to his right.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

The scene quickly shifts to those on his right who answer him, saying "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?"

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Now, for those who are unfamiliar, a few weeks ago we posted a blog about one of our North Campus high school students Britni, who approached me with the desire to start a food drive for her birthday. Along with the blog post, I quickly spread the word throughout our student ministry and social media to join in and help stock the shelves of our Beltway Park Food Pantry.

Then, without anyone's prompting, Pastor McQueen announced the following Sunday morning that both of our campuses would be taking donations up for our Beltway Food Pantry in honor of Britni's birthday food drive. 

The response was simply astounding.

Over 70 food & personal items Donated
Over $13,000 Raised

I remember sitting in my office when I first read those numbers in an email, and I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed.

You see, this is about something greater than cans of food or dollar signs. This is about people. This is about a community coming together to do what Jesus has called us to do – love our neighbor and to take care of the "least of these."

The thing I've realized in my own life, is that I tend to over-spiritualize "loving thy neighbor." But the remarkable thing about Matthew 25:31-46 is the fact that Jesus is talking about actions that aren't inherently spiritual at all. Jesus isn't calling out to those who prayed for the hungry. Those on the right aren't described as people who led some massive spiritual crusade or revival.

It's actually much more simple than that. Jesus is talking about people who:

Fed the hungry.
Gave a drink to the thirsty.
Clothed the naked.
Cared for the sick, the stranger, and the needy.

You know what I love about that? Though seemingly unspiritual they may be, when we do those basic things for the "least of these," we are actually doing them directly unto Jesus.

And so we can all "ooh" and "ahh" about $13,000. But that's not what this is about. This is about people. Because do you know what 70 food and personal items + over $13,000 actually does?

Feeds the hungry.
Gives a drink to the thirsty.
Clothes the naked.
Cares for the sick, the stranger, and the needy.

So, to the countless strangers who dug into their pockets or into their pantry, and to those who daily give of yourself in order to take care of the "least of these" – Thank You.

You are world changers.

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A New Journey

To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with Him.  –John Piper

As some of you might know, I am the student ministry assistant here at Beltway Park's North Campus, and I have to say that I absolutely love my job. Working with the student ministry has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. I have had the opportunity to get to know the most amazing, selfless, encouraging, and loving students ever. They have consistently made me laugh, loved me in all my flaws, and taught me so much over the past year and half. So it is with both great sadness and excitement that I announce that my time of serving here at the North Campus has (almost) come to an end.

Since becoming a follower of Jesus, the Lord has been leading me on a journey of learning how to embrace the nations. Over the past 10 years of my life, the Lord has been taking me on adventure after adventure into the world of missions. From the time I was in middle school, I have been going on any mission trip I could get signed up for, from one-week trips to a 3-month trip. And 9 mission trips and 8 countries later, God has finally made it official and allowed me to take on my dream job as a missionary.

While being on mission for God can take place at any time and any place, in this season of life, the Lord is leading me to work with a specific ministry. In June, I will be moving to Lubbock, TX to work with Prepare International (PI) as a missionary of operations and short-term missional development. For any who are unfamiliar with PI, they are a faith-based ministry that develops international training schools that cultivate and teach spiritual leaders of the nations to win souls, make disciples, plant churches, and lead existing churches. PI is currently involved in making disciples in 25 different nations around the world. My role at PI will be handling the operations that make all of this possible. I will be doing lots of administrative things such as booking flights, and keeping up with the calendars of PI travelers, overseeing communication around the world, helping to publish books and develop training materials, leading an internship program, travelling 2-4 times a year overseas, and leading short term mission trips in the summer, among other things.

While I am looking forward to jumping into this world of embracing the nations, I am also so excited that I still have the next 6 months to continue working at the North Campus. I can’t wait to spend as much time as possible cherishing all of the memories of time well spent with my favorite students. It’s going to be a blast.

So for now, always, and forever Summit Salute.

Maitlyn Yarbrough

A note from Braden:

I cannot begin to tell you what an absolute blessing Maitlyn has been to myself, this ministry, and our church. Long before I came to BSM North, Maitlyn was working tirelessly behind the scenes prepping games, working on budgets, planning, dreaming, and above all – loving students. Never once has she asked for gratitude. Never once has she sought to be recognized for her long hours. Never once has she asked for any accolade. She has been an unfailing example of the love, the humility, and the servant that we see in Jesus.

And so although we feel a deep sadness as she prepares to leave, we also feel an immense joy for this next season in her life. I can speak for all of us at Beltway Park when I say that we are thankful to God for allowing her to spend so many years here and touch so many lives. And we are even more thankful and excited that her journey is just beginning!