Friday, August 13, 2004


As a youthworker, we've got some access into some pretty unique and special times. One of those that I experience routinely is seeing families both release their kids into mission experiences and welcoming them back from these experiences.
This summer, I got to see a full range of those experiences. First, I was on the cutting edge of this idea of release, when K and I went to Boot Camp. It wasn't release per se, but it certainly was a precursor to it. Seeing all of these other kids released into missions with Teen Missions, seeing how they prepare kids to go around the world, and experiencing Boot Camp with K, all of those things brought out some emotion, excitement, anticipation, at how God is going to use her in the future. It also made me really think about parents letting their kids suffer for the Kingdom, the progression of releasing your kids, and how much God blesses us through our children so they can bless the nations.
The second experience was seeing a few mothers come with their middle schoolers to CMTS. That was interesting as well. I was expecting a lot more 'mothering', versus a lot more releasing. However, it was a pretty good balance that they had after all. And as the primary leader in charge, it could be a little sketchy when you have parents that smother to much at the detriment to their kids' growth.
The third experience was talking to a mother before the NYC trip. As she talked about her son going to NYC with me, she started crying. Seeing mothers weep for their children is always difficult for me. Of course, women crying in general is difficult for me. But in this context, taking their kids on a mission trip, its a little easier. I tell them about the opportunity, how God has called them, etc. Because in this case, I know that her child was definitely called to this trip, and that God had some definite, specific plans to bless him, and to use him to bless others. And that definitely happened.
And on the other side of the trip, it is always fun to see kids get welcomed back from a trip. The hugs, the happiness, the cheers. It's neat to see who brings out the whole family to pick up the student, and at what time they all come out. We arrived at 12.30am, and each kid that got picked up had at least two members of the fam come and get them. One of our kids had a car dropped off for them and the drivers seat was all decorated to welcome them home. That's pretty neat.
Anyway, those are glimpses into families that not everyone always gets. We as youthworkers are lucky to see those interactions.

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