I am sitting here at 2:33am writing this to you. Jet lag is a very strange thing but in some ways I really like it. Jackie and I came home from Greece this past Sunday, which is 10 hours ahead of Nanaimo – I am thankful that I have this quiet time to write.
Last night I fell asleep on the couch at 8 pm, my body in full comatose – now at 2:30am it feels like lunch time. My tummy is grumbling and my mind is racing. So many things to think about. Monday, our first day back home, I spent doing mostly administration. In the morning (or night) I woke at 2:30 am and spent three hours studying Greek before I went to the gym with Nathan, my son, and exercised till he had to go to work at 7:15. Then I began the second half of my day.
One of our prospective volunteers needed his original copy of his police check back, which triggered me to attack a process which I loathe; confirming our team has all their paperwork done. I’m not really sure I bought in for this when we started YFC Nanaimo. As most people know, my passion is not admin, rather it is people, and bringing God’s intended blessings into their lives. Thankfully, my job description provides me with a minimum 30% direct ministry time, otherwise I would implode. I need to serve in my gifting!
I recognize that God is at work in me teaching me patience, self control, godliness and contentment. These counter cultural and spiritual behaviours do not come natural! I recognize this clearly when I watch my three baby grand children, who naturally exude the opposite qualities, except maybe ungodliness, but even that is quickly developing as their σαρχ (fleshly nature) develops. Please excuse the Greek. This battle defines our humanly existence as we seek to find Christ and fill our lives with the Spirit, our only true defence.
OUr newest intern
Janique will add a completely new component to our team. Her contagious laughter and “all in” lifestyle will add a new level of faith as she shares her journey and takes on some of our challenging girls, to be their best friend, Jesus’ ears, eyes and source of truth. Janique knows what it means to live through life experiences no girl should have to endure, but unlike many who still live in the pain, she has found victory and has learned to live in the freedom that Jesus has given her! Janique will study with us this year as she serves along side us learning to have greater confidence in the gifts God has and will give her. I am so excited for what God will do through her and so thankful for the miracles that God has done to bring her to this point in her vocation as well as bringing her to Canada.
One of the things God has done from the inception of YFC Nanaimo is to bring the team of people He wants for His work in redeeming His people. Last October as Richard and I worked through his job description for the immigration department and we faithfully said that He would train kids in farming. This is a passion of Richard’s and yet we could not see the whole picture of what God had in store. I am so excited to see how God places things in our hearts that He wants but expects us to take steps beyond our ability to get there, all the while knowing that He has everything worked out! Jesus wants us to completely rely on Him and dream big! Anyway, in comes John and Joy Cline and their newly purchased farm. John and Joy have been praying for how God would use their marvellous property that God entrusted to them and in John’s prayers, he hear God specifically say, “Youth.” I am sure my description does not do it justice so I apologize in advance. John is committed to serving along side us and wants us to be able to use their property! As normal there are still some hoops to jump through, like insurance and safety, but we are on our way with the Clines. We are hoping that this symbiotic relationship will be a blessing for YFC’s kids, staff and interns all the while blessing the Clines in God’s amazing way!
Well, officially we just took on our fourth club at Pleasant Valley Elementary. Christ Community’s team has started and everyone is loving it! These breakfast clubs are an essential part of God’s ministry to feed the hungry and so many of our volunteers are being blessed. I specifically want to thank Rick Brink, John Ryper and Trudy Jager for leading their team! Now we are just trying to figure out how God will bless Georgia Ave and Uplands who both are asking for help! May God’s Kingdom come!! Nothing is impossible with Him. How many doors will open and lives will be changed can only be measured by God.
I can’t believe where we’ve come from. In 2012 we started with no money and just a vision and a lot of passion. I even got fired for the first time in my life because I had not raised enough money to make the ministry viable, but with some soul searching and a lot of prayer, God got me out of myself and made me realize that this ministry must be much bigger than me! Thank God! Financial partners are an incredible cog in God’s machine. YFC’s model allows people to get involved directly through financial support thereby enabling people who may not have other opportunities to reach today’s youth! By partnering with YFC kids are impacted, teams are raised up, churches are motivated and the doors of God’s blessings are opened onto those who faithfully and sacrificially respond to Him.
Today, Francisco, Richard, and I are able to do lead this team because many of you have given. Now Janique will also come along side and help because more of you see her as God’s blessing to us. Thank you! While none of us are receiving all we need, we are able to feed our families and put gas in our cars so we can be out there. Personally I have lost some key supporters in the last few months and I am short about $1500.00 per month to float my budget. I know this is mostly my fault because I have had so much on my plate and have not prioritized the financial component. This is something I must put some effort into to give people opportunity to serve God in this way! My job is to tell the story, share the vision, communicate God’s heart for this hurting generation of kids. Please help me to reach them and pray that my ears are open to hear His guidance!
Without a doubt…
One of the greatest challenges we all face is faith. We are taught from childhood to live within our means and while this is a Godly principle, we forget our means include Him. So many of the kids we deal with are broken because they don’t understand this principle. God is on our side and wants to bless us, but we have to let Him! Kids are taught these days that we are just animals living in a finite world with finite opportunities. This is not the truth! Fear is the result. They are constantly bombarded by the thoughts of the consequences of failure, debt, peer pressure and self image. They live in a world that they think is dying and has no hope. Global warming, wars and bad news about murder and abuse feed into their impressionable minds. They need the hope that only Jesus can give. They need examples of people who are not afraid, who live a life of peace and love. They need to know they are valuable and that they can be part of the solution. Abundant life is possible. Forgiveness and healing are available but as my old pastor used to point out through a little story he told, “the crying bear needs to get off the nail he is sitting on!” Let’s all set our sights on the solution and live the faith we are called to live not just with word, but with deed.
I love you, my friends. This is because Jesus never stops loving me!