Friday, April 15, 2016

"Encouragement for a Weary Young Life Leader" by Pablo Otaola

We're looking for helpful ideas and encouragement for folks doing Multi-Cultural & Urban ministry. If you'd like to contribute, email us here. 

This post below was written by Pablo Otaola, YL staff in Denver, CO.

It’s the end of the school year and if you’re anything like me you’re tired. You've carried the burdens of your kids and your spirit is tired. You've ran after kids (literally sometimes!) and you are physically tired. You've heard the problems kids face and you are exhausted with sadness for the reality of the brokenness they face. In biblical terms, your armor is kinked, worn out, and scuffed.

In the middle of all of this, we hear from the Lord, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” We also know that we have won the war because He has won the war for us. Though we are victorious in Christ, our humanity is tired. Especially when we have camp assignments and camp trips coming soon this summer. So what do we do? 

We lament. 

We look to God and lament the brokenness of the world and our kids’ lives. We tell the Lord that we are panting for his water to restore our soul. We go to the Psalms to hear David’s cry to the Lord while people were trying to kill him. We also hear the Old Testament prophets crying out to God for Jerusalem. 

Sometimes these cries come in the form of music.

If I look closely at my own tradition we often listen to songs about Christ being the King and a Victor in battle. I don't often hear songs about being tired and having no more tears to cry. Over the last year our region has suffered much loss. We've been forced to engage every part of our faith and our musical worship in lament. 

If you're tired, below are two songs to encourage you. 


First, read the translation of Submergeme and meditate on the words. Then listen to the chords of Submergeme and let the music move you into a place of grieving the reality of kids’ lives and let the Lord fill your weary heart with hope. 


Next listen to the song Take Me to the King and fully allow the Holy Spirit to be the healing balm as you are taken to the King himself.

Submergeme (in Spanish, translated to English below) 




Tired of the journey, panting for your water
I crossed a desert, I have no strength left
This is how I come to you.

I fought as a soldier and sometimes suffered
And although I won the fight, I have worn my armor,
This is how I come to you.
Submerge me in the river of your Spirit
I need to refresh this dry heart
I’m thirsty for you.

Over the course of the summer we will spend many more hours being with kids and hearing hard stories in cabin time. Allow the Lord to meet you in a place of grieving and exhaustion and look to him for hope. 

Here is a list of lament songs that our region is currently using to worship a God that meets us in our suffering.

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