Hey, friends, family, or anyone else from the inter-webs. Imma be honest, imma instagram guy. Amongst many other things, It's fun, simple, allows for me to be creative, and it connects me to the world. As a High School Pastor it allows be to get a pulse on the lives of students, it keeps in relevant, and in many ways, is my number one news resource.
It's been a whirlwind of a year as the High School Pastor. In many ways it feels and seems that I have been in the role longer than a year, but it was last November when I was announced as the Pastor of High School Students at Mariners Church.
Camp was a special time. Always is. Always will be. There is nothing like it. As we got off the bus I saw the looks in the eyes of students, some excited, others terrified. Each student had no idea how God was going to work in their lives.
You've maybe heard the saying, "all good things come to an end". A semi-true statement. High School was for some, the time of your lives, while for others you have been dreaming of the day when High School is no longer a part of your daily rhythm. No matter what end of the spectrum you fall on I know that this time is a bittersweet time. Bitter because you are saying goodbye to friends, teachers, and people you love, and sweet because you are entering into a new, exciting season.
The end of the year is approaching. Well, it's here, to say the least. As I look back on What God has done in HSM and in the lives of students in Orange County I cannot help but thank Jesus for his provision and grace!
Now, I have been in youth ministry for a while now--I cannot call myself a veteran, but I can say that I have seen so many students, leaders, sermons, trainings, camps, videos, pranks... you name it! I know that amidst so much to be thankful for, there are students who hurt, students who are lonely, students who have questions, students who are forgotten, and so much more! This letter, is to you, the students of HSM and Orange County who might find yourself at a place like this.
To the student who had a rad 2016: Ride the wave, thank Jesus, and don't take those good moments for granted. Blessing is often received, but not often recognized. Recognize it.
To the student who feels far from God: God isn't far from you. He's actually very, very close. That's the message of Christmas... In moments when we feel we aren't close to him, he actually is closer to us than we think. God is with you, in the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It's a common saying amongst short term Mission trippers, "God doesn't take you halfway around the world to return home the same." Something I pondered on the flight from the U.S. to Kenya.
"Why am I going to Kenya?"
Sure, I knew the practical reasons. Iam going to experience God, I am going to learn things from Mavuno Church, I am going to experience our church partners... But, as I took off on that plane, I was unprepared to experience God the way I did in Africa.
@alexbeaverson on instagram