PictureVine Middle School Team

Lately our team has been talking a lot about courage. We want to be a team that launches out in courage and faith, trusting God to go with us. Courage wouldn’t be necessary, though if there wasn’t an element of risk. Sometimes courage doesn’t make sense. In fact, it’s often said that there is a fine line between courage and foolishness. Usually it’s only the outcome that determines which one was involved.

Such was the case with Prince Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14. The Israelites and the Philistines were at a stalemate. Neither was willing to retreat, but both were hesitant to advance. It was at this point that Jonathan conceived his daring – or foolish – plan.

“Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

So Jonathan and his armor bearer crossed over and engaged the Philistines in a fight, killing more than 20 of them. A panic began to spread through the Philistine camp, followed by a tremendous earthquake. The Bible says that “the vast army of the Philistines began to melt away in every direction.” Israel experienced an historic victory due to the courage of two men supported by the LORD.

The thing that I find most fascinating about the story is the courage Jonathan had in the face of his doubts. “Let’s go,” he said, and “perhaps the LORD will help us.” Would you move on a “perhaps?” That’s the question we’ve been wrestling with.

Our team recently faced this challenge at Vine Middle School. We didn’t have a club at Vine last fall because we didn’t have enough volunteers. However, due to the particular challenges this neighborhood has faced in recent months and the regular pleas from school administrators for us to return, we knew that we had to make Vine Middle a priority. We began working toward launching the club in January, but just couldn’t seem to make any headway.

​We finally decided to set a launch date in February and trust God to provide. Even the week before, we thought our YOKE staff might be alone. However, on the day we launched 6 volunteers joined our 4 YOKE staff. Since that time, God has supported us in many ways:

  • One of our volunteers offered to serve as the Team Leader and has hit the ground running.
  • Our team was able to partner with local churches to encourage the students during a week of testing.
  • We’ve been invited to participate in a morning program before school and have been able to join the students during lunch time.
  • A local church invited us to help serve Vine students during spring break, giving us another opportunity to build relationships.
  • A donor offered to provide scholarships for any Vine student who wanted to attend our spring camp.
  • Our club continues to grow!

This neighborhood and the students who live there face a variety of challenges. The task is daunting, but what an adventure! Please pray for our Vine team as they continue to build relationships with the students there, pray for more students to get involved, and pray that our organization will continue to meet our challenges with courage, for “nothing can hinder the LORD.”