Monday, March 18, 2013

Travel Joys

"Sometimes it is a great joy just to listen to someone we love talking." - Vincent McNabb

A perfect quote for the week I've just experienced!

Last Wednesday, Kristin and I flew into Springfield, MO for the purpose of sharing with ministry students on the campus of Central Bible College.  Such an honor to be given that opportunity!

We started with a class designed to teach young preachers to preach.  16 men; 1 woman.  Kristin and I did a team teaching for about 30 minutes then opened the floor for questions.  And great questions they were!

The students saw the chance to glean information from two perspectives at once - the employer and the employee.  Each one hopes to land a position in a church or faith-based organization upon graduation.  So the questions came with serious overtones.

They asked what employers would be looking for.  They asked Kristin how it felt to lead people older than oneself.  How do you develop a team?  What is it really like to be a woman in ministry - typically a male position?  Our time with them flew by!

And so it went with each mentoring group; each team we met; each individual encounter!  They plied us for information, took notes, studied our faces, nodded in understanding/appreciation.  We loved every minute!

Seeing ones we've known for years like Rachel, Jada and Chelle who now live in MO, was a bonus.  Our hosts, Alan, Tricia and Allison Baker are life-time friends.  So being with them was just the frosting on the cake for us!

I had the privilege of preaching in chapel on Friday.  As the students came to the altar following the sermon, I had tears in my eyes just watching the passion they were expressing for following God. 

May I submit that our world is NOT going to hell in a hand basket.  Not while young people like that are coming on the scene.  Just Sayin'!

Why the quote?

Because as I listened to Kristin teach, my heart swelled with gratitude and joy!  Some may wonder why one so young would be given such a platform.  I think God put her there because of all her years of behind the scenes service.

At 14, Kristin became a helper for children's church.  She has served missionaries and ministers as a nanny.  She just completed her tenth year working with the children of Garden Grove church.  (Yes, she got here before we did.)

Every Sunday, she makes sure teams are in place for toddlers and Kidz Zone.  Every Wednesday night, she walks part way with her "neighborhood babies" seeing them back home safely.  Every summer she plans, preaches and directs Vacation Bible School.

So to stand back and listen to her share HER heart for ministry was such an honor! 

Many spend a lifetime seeking the spotlight and never find it.  Others spend their lives searching for opportunities to serve and are surprised when the spotlight of God's affirmation shines on them brightly.

Deep contented sigh!

Thanks to the Bakers for opening their home and their ministry venue to Team Hawley!  To borrow a favorite quote from Frank's hometown newspaper, "A lovely time was had by all!"