How Love Changes Everything

Date posted: Wednesday 22 August 2018

Hannah, a high school student from Hosanna Lutheran in Forest Lake, attended the Youth Gathering in Houston in July. The theme, "This Changes Everything", focused on the gift of God's grace and what it opens us up to. Below, Hannah shares some thoughts from the Gathering.


Youth Gathering inspired artwork by Hannah

Greetings, my name is Hannah. I wanted to share an experience I had at the Youth Gathering in Houston. I had the opportunity on our service day to build a bike lane for a community in need of one. During our service projects, many of our groups worked around that neighborhood. While the work itself wasnʼt very difficult, it made an impact almost immediately. Before we even finished, even. We were met with such positivity and gratefulness.


People would stop by to thank us and talk. As soon as we finished, bikes were traveling down it and there was much joy. What I learned from this is how different the lives of people can be. In Minnesota we have access to bike lanes and are supportive of many modes of transportation. But, a city like Houston - which one would think would have access - didn’t. The bike lane we built was in a neighborhood with a high need of access. I noticed how things that seemed common or simple to us in Minnesota were huge and meaningful to others. This was an important opportunity for me to experience, getting to see another community and getting a small taste of their lives. It was very impactful to how I might see things differently.


How we can love

This experience has me thinking about how God is calling me to LOVE at Hosanna like I experienced in Houston... Hosanna has been very good with getting involved with organizations like Feed My Starving Children, and there is still more we can do to help in other ways that displays how God’s LOVE IS changing everything for one another. Simply showing support for others can really make a difference with people’s view of the church. It has always been unclear to me whether or not the church really means “all are welcome”, and everyone at the gathering showed such compassion and support for all types of people. From those of other religions, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and countries. God’s LOVE is very important that it is made clear by the church, by us.


One of the speakers at the Gathering was only 11 years old. That really resonated with me. She said, "Age does not matter when it comes to being a leader and making a difference." Getting involved is something Iʼm capable of and should do. We all can do this, we all can share how God’s LOVE changes everything.



Hosanna Lutheran, Forest Lake