Youth Speaker

Last weekend, Mish and I were guest speakers at our church’s youth camp. It’s been a long time since I spoke to a group of teens, but what felt even more unusual was to talk about something other than our work at Seed of Hope, which has been my most frequent speaking topic for the last few years!

I loved sharing stories that had been “on the shelf” for a while: a morning spent jostling in the back of a land rover in Cambodia with an unexploded mortar in my lap, to keep it from banging into the other ordinance my neighbour Phil had in his vehicle (we were on the way to his office: a minefield he was clearing with a de-mining organization); standing up one night in high school at a youth event and publicly acknowledging that somewhere along the line the Jesus I’d grown up around in church had become deeply real and personal to me; sensing God speak to me as a 17 year-old on the outskirts of a remote Ugandan village, revealing my life’s future direction in a way I’ve held on to ever since; travelling with a friend through a country hostile to Christianity, and miraculously finding ourselves meeting with an underground church that even the local police was unable to discover.

Looking back at my own teen years is always an introspective process for me. My own experience of the deep lows and the great heights have always made me believe in the significance of those years – they are a lifetime in microcosm.  Most of the pivotal issues and facts of my life seemed to spring from that time in some way.

The stories flowed, and the kids responded to my invitation to trust God to speak and lead them as he has led me. I felt humbled, amazed and full of gratitude that the adventures have continued, and that our family is experiencing them together. So while tomorrow’s challenges and concerns await, today I’m just very, very thankful.

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