Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Watching Them Grow Up

From 1998-2005 Jobina and I lived in Mennville, Manitoba where I was a youth pastor in the church and a director at Beaver Creek Bible Camp. These were some of the best years of my life and though I'm glad I am where I am, I look back at them with great fondness. While I was out there I got to meet so many wonderful people, especially the students and staff who I ministered to.

This week I have thinking a lot about how awesome it is to watch students who you have worked with grow up. Being at camp last weekend warmed my heart as I saw people who I had coached, trained, talked to, and occasionally struggled with maturing and finding their place in the world. It is incredibly satisfying. Last night I went to see a movie with one such individual and afterwards we went out for coffee and he told me about all the cool things that were happening in his life. I just sat back amazed at how, well . . . mature he was. He was making some great relationship and life/faith decisions and I was very proud of him. Did he have it all together? Of course not, who does? But he has lots to celebrate and I celebrated with him. I've gotten a lot of emails recently from former students and staff and whether they are feeling blessed or are struggling I was really impacted by how through it all they are all maturing. Some through hardships, some through blessing. But they are all growing and it's wonderful to behold. My "students" are now challenging me with their lives, their words, and especially their courage and perseverance in life circumstances.

Walking with someone through a formative time in their lives is a great honor. But watching them later on as they grow up and mature . . . that is truly one of life's greatest blessings. I feel very thankful as I reflect on these things. And content.

May Light increase!


Dayna said...

as one of your students, i want to say that we too are blessed. not only did you live life alongside us while we were in youth and/or at camp, but you continue to encourage, challenge, and inspire us... even though sometimes from afar. i credit God for all He has done in me, but i sure thank Him for you and jobina (among others)! thanks for all your time, energy, devotion, patience, prayer, and love- both then and now!

Jay Boaz said...

I don't know if you count me as a former student or not (since I only started coming to Youth in grade 12), but I can say that without you being the youth leader in Mennville I doubt I'd be a Christian today. Thanks brother!


Anonymous said...

growing up is hard to do...i should know, i've been doing a lot of it over the past few years. but like the title of my blog says, i have an uncertain future just like everyone else. but the best way to go into it is all grown up.