Excited to have Emma share on our family blog today.    One of the great things we LOVE about our new home, community and church family is that they really do everything they can to help equip the next generation and it begins by training and discipleship.  One of the programs Grace does for their 6th-8th graders out in the public middle schools is called “Thrive”.  On Tuesdays students go before school and get trained in worship, testimony, drama etc.  And then on Fridays the students lead and teach other students through worship, drama and teaching. Friday’s are 100% student lead.  I just got back from dropping Emma off this morning where she will be helping out with the drama this week.  BUT a few weeks ago, Emma shared her testimony and she wanted to share it here with you. Each person in our family plays an important role as we all live into our family mission: To show and tell people Jesus.  Thanks for representing our family well Emma.  We love seeing what God is doing in you and through you, through brokenness and restoration, and many God questions. So everyone, welcome Emma!

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This post is by Emma Rhodes –  I am 12 yrs old.

My name is Emma and I will be sharing my testimony. One thing about me is that I like an adventure. My dad is a preacher and travels a whole lot and our family’s mission is to show and tell people Jesus. I have been to a bunch of different places but recently our family has started a new adventure. We just moved to Snellville, GA in November from Pawleys Island, South Carolina. We had been in that area for 4 years before moving here.

Moving in 6th grade is really hard. I have always trusted in God from a young age, and my trust was put to a test when we moved to Atlanta. I loved living at the beach in a small school with lots of close friends. Our family loved all the people there that we did life with. I was scared when I moved to Atlanta that I might not have that. As time passed, I had a lot of big God questions about why this was happening to me. “Why do I have to move?” “Why do I have to leave my friends” or like “why do I have to go to a new 3 story middle school?”

Just recently some of my questions were answered. During worship at LUG God gave me a sign with the lights in the auditorium. All of the worship lights turned blue. At first I had no idea what it meant. But I felt like this wasn’t a coincidence but God was trying to speak to me. I felt like God was with me at that moment and that he was concerned about me and cared for me. But as I began to pray about it I remembered In language arts we were studying the Mayans and the color blue in their culture represented sacrifice. And I felt like God was telling me that following God was always worth the sacrifice.

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(Photo taken at LUG)

From that point on my relationship with Christ has changed. Atlanta is feeling more and more like home since then. Even though it is still hard, I am starting to make friends and we have wonderful families here we get to share life with. Some of my favorite verses that relate to this is Jeremiah 29:11 this talks about things happening for the best and that God can be trusted and followed. Luke 9:23 if we follow Jesus we have to pick up out cross and walk with him.  So whenever you go through hard times and it feels like you can’t trust in God, remember that “God is ALWAYS worth the sacrifice”. And He always brings good things from that sacrifice if we trust him.

Thank you for reading.  I was nervous about my first post.  I will try to post some more.  Emma

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