5 years ago, God sent us to New York, where He had provided a job and a church home where we would learn lots of new things about life and ministry and friendship, how to serve Him and how not to serve Him. While we were there, a friend and pastor challenged us to build a discipleship group around the technology our church used for ministry. VPT was God’s hand-picked 10-12 young people with whom He created an amazing little community of growth and mentorship, friendship and adventure, around Nicole and I as we started our own family in the U.S. Along the way, He provided some other friends, who we served with us and did life us with while we were there.
That little group of students are all at the beginning of building their own lives, most of them in college, or about to be, and thinking about what comes next. Our group of friends have mostly all scattered to different parts of the continent – even the pastor who kicked off our adventure is moving on. That little microcosm of life and family and ministry is now mostly a mostly wonderful memory.
This past weekend, though, we got the opportunity to meet back up in New York with many of the folks that made our time there so special. Jon, who served with me and taught me lots about technology, and his wife Virginia, Jason and Brooke who led the small group that welcomed us to New York when we knew no one there, then had babies at roughly the same time as us and commiserated during that crazy stage of life, and many of our “kids” from VPT were all there.
Life is full of challenges, and all of us have had our share, but to see everyone mostly stronger and healthier out the other side of the 2+ years since we last saw them all, was encouraging and exciting and fun. We ate heartily in warm homes with good friends. We had rousing discussions with earnest young truth-seekers about relationships, religion and life. We geeked out watching Tron while Ben and Abi soaked up lots of extra love and attention… and Nicole did a fair bit of shopping!
As vacations go, it wasn’t the sunniest, most tropical locale we could have picked, but it was a wonderful one, nonetheless. And yet again, I can’t help but think that God’s concept of “home” is a very global one…
Pictures with lots of big smiles are up in the sidebar!