It's been a while since I've like, blog blogged so I thought I'd try something I've been thinking about for some time. In our garage is a box and several bags chock full of old, unorganized photos. Remember, you know, like an actual picture that you can hold in your hand? Well, I thought I'd go out there, stick my hand in one of the bags and what ever photo came out, I'd write about it...so here it is...
This is Michael...but he wanted us to use the french pronuciation of Mi-kai-el so we did. He was in Dunham, Quebec working with Youth With A Mission. Or Jenesse en Mission in French...in English it's YWAM, very blunt and awkward. In French, it's JEM which also convieniently means "love". ahhhhh. Michael was working there as a part of a language study school from England. As a requirement, he had to spend six months or a year (I can't remember which) in a French speaking nation. He was quite fluent. I remember him thinking the Quebec version of the language to be quirky and endearing. It's all French to me.
I was in Dunham also working with YWAM from the base in Cambridge, Ontario. In a story much too long to go into, we had to run our Discipleship Training School at a different location and the Dunham house was the closest and also available at the last minute. So here we came, 40 or so loud anglo-phones crashing in on a small, french YWAM base in a tiny village in Quebec about 7 miles from the Vermont border...in January. Our hosts were very gracious, it was extremly cold (we had to buy a heater to place on our engine block so our car would start in the morning) and the food was...uh...improvised. We had brought with us a large donation of frozen pasta dishes like tortellini and ravioli all of which we just kept outside. It stayed frozen no problem.
I did not keep in touch with Michael. He stayed in Dunham for a while after we were all gone. But I do remember a conversation I had with him. I remember it every once in a while. He was deciding whether to do his Discipleship Training School (DTS) with YWAM there. We were talking about the way we look to programs to fix us rather than looking to God. He had a very humble view. He told me that he didn't expect the DTS to change him completely but that it was just another season. An extra focused season maybe but one that would come to an end. His goal was to stay on the path toward God no matter what.
Seeing this picture today made me think of the four students from my church now, here in California, that are headed off to YWAM schools this Fall. Seasons come and go. I remember the first time James and Julie came to our youth group...they were just 13 years old. They graduated this year and are both off to YWAM. I'm very proud of them. They are already on that path and getting ready for an intensified season.
I remember when it was me. While those decisions actually did change the coarse of my life,it didn't happen the way I thought it would. For the most part, there has not been the big and the wonderful. It has been the small and the faithful that has made all the difference...friendship, simplicity and good work. Let's stay on the path.