God Use Us

What a night! A large group of 15 girls and I made the rush-hour trek to The Woodlands to hear MercyMe & Natalie Grant perform in concert. Half of our large group was comprised of Chinese students, as four of our families are hosting, and they were part of the fun as well... the steamy fun on a hot Houston night.

I have to say at first that I was slightly worried about taking these girls along. They have been exposed to the gospel several times now over their 2 1/2 weeks here in Katy and I almost feel like they are getting worn down instead of built up. Believing in Christ is so far from what they are taught at home and as a church family we have felt so burdened for these students to hear the Truth. Obviously as we all seek to maximize this time, the gospel has been presented in many different ways through speakers, teachers, pastors and fellow countrymen. In fact, Dusty and I have even spent some time on different nights sharing a portion of our testimony with the girls staying with us. All of this has been shared in an attempt to let them know that we love them and we strongly desire for them to spend an eternity with God instead of separated from Him. They have smiled politely and have even asked some rather deep questions, but I was so blessed watching them last night as they listened intently to MercyMe share what faith in Christ really means... Thankfully I am sure that they know, that they have heard... and that only the Holy Spirit can move at this time. Only our Lord knows if they are ready to accept Him...

It was apparent last night, as we sprawled out on many different blankets and settled in, that God was definitely present. I was excited for the girls and I was excited for myself. I am so grateful that He always shows up... that He continues to make Himself known in many different settings. In the warm Houston heat, through the gentle breeze that blew through that pavilion, God used the wonderful, talented artists to speak to my heart. While Natalie Grant sang "Held" and "In Better Hands", I praised as I wept over my precious boy that isn't here with me. I cried tears of pain, of sadness, of loss... and I wept over His faithful presence in the darkest times. I also wept over these beautiful girls from an Eastern culture that have yet to receive Him.

I SO LONG for them to want Him, to need Him, to have that desire burn inside of them. I want for them to have what we have had... I want for them to know that amidst great struggle, great sadness, great trial, great temptation, our Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who can deliver. One of the questions they asked us the other night is how a good God can allow such bad things to happen in the world. Wow... a good question that people have asked for centuries and continue to ask today. Praise God that MercyMe addressed those exact things last night, talking about how God's ultimate plan will never be known until we see Him face to face. They spoke about how even in the rain, God will do whatever is necessary to bring glory unto Himself. I again wept as they sang "Bring the Rain" and just prayed that God is still doing that... that He is still using us and Maddox's story to bring glory unto Himself.

Last night was truly another amazing time of worship and praise and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have spent the evening in great company with great music, in the presence of a Great God... I am thankful to have been able to bring our seeking students (thank you! to a sweet friend who paid for the tickets)... to have been able to stand and praise my Lord to some of the songs that have impacted me most during these last 10 months. It only seemed fitting that MercyMe came back on stage and closed out the show with "God with Us." ... Such a tiny offering, compared to Calvary... But nevertheless, we lay it at Your feet.

We continue to pray that God is still using us to tell Maddox's story and ultimately to bring glory unto Himself. God faithfully reminded me of what He has entrusted us with last night as we prepare to stand tomorrow in front of 300 high school students to share our testimony. We ask you to pray that He overwhelms us tomorrow with peace, clarity, His Words to fill our mouths, control over my emotions, and most importantly for the Holy Spirit to move in a mighty way. We know this is a wonderful opportunity and we seek to make the most of it as there is no possible way we could stand and share this only 6 months after losing our son without God's tremendous strength and healing. THANK YOU for praying for us and for the way God continues to use Maddox's short life. Also, thank you for continuing to pray for all of these Chinese students... you are truly investing in eternity!

"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise."- Psalm 51:15


april said…
How awesome! I was there last night too and felt closer to God than I've felt in years. I pray the girls your witnessing to will come to know the peace I once had that eventually I'll get back to that place, too! ;)
Stacy said…
You've planted the seeds and God will water and till up the soil of these children's hearts that they would be able to receive all that you've given them. Praise God for the opportunities and your willingness to share!

I'll pray for you as you give your testimony....I know how hard it is to share the pain but also the joy that God has given in the pain. God will give you the words and they will be perfect. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

God will continue using Maddox to bring others to His saving grace!He is still using my son, almost 6 years after his heavenly homecoming.

In Christ-Stacy
Angie said…
Kenzie, what a great opportunity!! I am praying that God will pour out wisdom on you for the remaining time your girls are here, so that you will know what to say and when to say it. I pray that God uses these weeks in their life to be one of the key things that helps them see their need for Him.

I am also praying for you today! 300 students...that's got to be one of the most intimidating, and also one of the most fruitful groups you could ever share this story with. May God put the words in your mouth, calm your spirit and let you say exactly what His message is.

I love you!

Jennifer said…
What a great word sweet friend!! What an amazing night together!
katrynka said…
I have enjoyed your blog for several months now. Until this post. It makes me very uncomfortable that you are pushing these girls so hard towards Christianity. Have you asked them anything about their own religious beliefs? There are many different religions in China, including Buddhism. If you do any research on Buddhism, you will find that its main focus is compassion for all living beings. They do not discount, denigrate or ignore other religions. You can be catholic, jewish etc and participate in buddhism. I do not have a problem with christians witnessing via how they live their lives. But as I read your post, I wondered if these students came to the USA to learn about our culture etc, not to be immersed in your belief system, with little to no ability to escape it while they are with you.
ITA said…
MY Kenzie,

Thank you so much for sharing our precious Lord with these two beautiful girls. I will also pray for you, Katrynka, that our precious Lord, our hope and our peace, will reveal Himself to you and to what only He can do for your life. Oh precious Lord may you become so real to all those who read this blog. Thank you Father that your word never returns to us without having done its work. Love you, Kenz.

Praising Jesus for you and Maddox tonight. I love you friend,
Tara said…
Hope all went well in church today! I said a special prayer for you and Dusty when we left. I know God has used you guys to touch so many people. God bless you both. Tara
Kenzie said…
Thank you so much for posting a comment... I appreciate it. I know that sometimes in my past I too have felt uncomfortable, sometimes almost pushy sharing the gospel with others. I myself was an exchange student for 2 years and although I loved the Lord even in those years I was not faithful in sharing what I believed with others.

However, our story, our testimony and all that we have walked through this last year has undoubtedly made me reevaluate this... I know life is SO SHORT and there IS an urgency to sharing the Lord. These precious girls from China have been welcomed into our home and we were asked by their own government to host them... crazy! :), they asked a Baptist Church in Houston TX to sponsor these kids. The students knew that they would be participating in activities that would discuss Christ... their program asked us to allow them to be part of our daily lives and live as part of an American family for 3 weeks. Our daily routine includes reading the Bible, discussing how God has worked through us, attending church events and service, and living our lives to be a witness for Him.

God has blessed us with an amazing opportunity to house these girls and as they have spent time with our family, they have blessed us. We hope to have blessed them as well. The mission field doesn't have to be overseas... it's right here and we have the opportunity to share how Christ has allowed us live life ONLY trusting in Him. There are missionaries scattered across China and literally dying over this when we have been granted this in our own backyard.

We lost our son this year and we still have hope, we have peace, we have joy... they talked with us today after we shared our testimony and they said that people in China don't have what we do. That is the promise and the hope only Christ can give.

These girls aren't buddhist, jewish or anything else... they simply don't know a god at all. We are sharing with them the truth of the only living God. We are not okay worshipping idols when indeed the Holy Lord is the only true God.

I know that you feel conflicted, like we are forcing this upon them... but there is nothing we can do or say to change them- that is the job of the Holy Spirit. The good thing is that we know, without a doubt, that we are doing what is right. We are providing them an opportunity at Heaven through believing in Christ. I pray that for you as well as that is the only way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Again I want to thank you for posting a comment and being concerned enough about these girls' well-being to say something. We are thankful.

Blessings & prayers,
l e a h said…
I pray that you continue to rely on God, even though it is difficult some days to see the bigger picture...like you said, God's plan is not fully realized until we meet him face to face.

Blessings to you,
Jill said…

I will be lifting you in prayer today.

I sat and read many of your previous posts after finding you through my dear friend Stacy.

Your heart and how you have shared it with all who read your blog is beautiful. Your words are geniune, soft and speak of God's love. Your words whisper the kindness He longs for us all to share with others and claims His promises we must all remember in the times we are walking in the wilderness or feel alone.

Today, I pray you feel surrounded by all the heavenly angels and know He is there - right there with you - holding you up and speaking His truth and love to all those teens attending!

May the words of your mouth fill their hearts with His truth, joy, hope and love.

May your hearts be full of the same as you rejoice in all that our Heavenly Father has done in your lives through Maddox.

Blessings and love,
Anonymous said…
Hi Kenz- Brent and I sat outside of the concert on Friday with some friends and were able to enjoy some of the incredible music of Mercy Me and Natalie Grant. I was thinking about you and all of the girls with you and were lifting you all up in prayer. When a few of those songs were played (Jesus Bring the Rain), it also brought tears to my eyes thinking about you, Dusty, Deacon, and Maddox and how you have lived God's word. It sounds like it was an absolutely amazing time of worship.

We will continue to pray for these young women from China and that Christ will reveal Himself to them in His perfect timing.

Love you guys and hope to see you soon! Jess

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