My favorite New Orleans story has to be from Thursday's "Ask the Lord" mission...
My team and I had spent hours in quiet, listening prayer during our restless nights, our debriefing team time, our team time on Thursday morning, etc. Personally, I was getting frustrated when the voice of God didn't boom down on me and I didn't feel any particular calling. It was a frustration that extended beyond the day that had been deemed "Ask the Lord Day" and into my daily spiritual life back home. God did, however, lay it on my heart to share my struggle with my teammates, knowing that I was not the only one feeling impatient. My team prayed over me-- an incredibly powerful experience-- and shared scripture from Psalms and Ephesians that talked about constantly and continuously seeking wisdom and direction from God. It wasn't a one-day opportunity!
Others on my team felt called to minister to teens our own age because we'd done a lot of conversing with adults so far. We drove to the Covenant House, a homeless shelter for 16 to 21 year olds. When we told the receptionist, "We're here because God led us here," she interrupted a board meeting without hesitation and asked the director where we could be put to work. We were directed to sand and paint an old, rusty, wrought iron fence, so that's what Team B did for hours in the sticky New Orleans sun. The fence hadn't been painted since Hurricane Katrina, and the paint job had continually fell through the gaps in the budget as the number of residents at the shelter was on the rise.
The sweaty, messy fence-painting ministry was the PERFECT contrast to our relational ministries from the previous days. God knew the Covenant House's exact needs, and He also knew my team's strong desire to "get down and dirty" in our ministry. He had a plan and a divine purpose the entire time, despite my feelings of loneliness and confusion in the beginning of the day! It was awesome!