If you know me, or have followed my blog, or been a member of the youth group or even attended at WEFC, you will have known that God has been changing my outlook on life for at least the last four years. It has been an incredible journey where my eyes have been opened to a lot of suffering and pain in this world.
Not only have my eyes been opened to this, but my heart has been as well and then along with that, my hands and feet feel the need to get involved. It has taken me a long time to really figure out what it is that my hands and feet should do, and there were many times that I was incredibly frustrated with that, and even wondered if I really believed all the things that I said I did. I wondered if I truly did care for people in need, or if I just liked the idea of being the person who cared about "social justice," but didn't really do anything about it.
Just over two years ago I took a group of youth and leaders to Hermosillo, Mexico. It was an incredible time. We saw horrible poverty, we saw great hope, and we interacted with amazing people. Sitting on the bus on the way back I asked everyone to talk about how this experience would impact their lives going forward. When my turn came, this is what I said (or something like it), "I really believe that God wants me to start something, something church-y, but it really has to have something to do with helping people in need. But I also have this really strong sense that I should not leave WEFC (the church I was working at)."
This conviction left me very confused. What was I supposed to do with this? How could I start something church-y and not leave this church. I tried a couple things, and really struggled with them. Nothing really took off, leaving me feeling like...I was a failure...or really didn't care like I said I did.
A year and a half later WEFC was asked if they would like to be given a church building in Point Douglas, one of poorest (financially) neighborhoods in Winnipeg. A church was shutting down, but wanted someone to continue working in the community. My heart nearly skipped a beat. But over the next few months I became convinced that maybe this was not the right thing to do (I am skipping a bunch here that I may let you in on some other day). This was an incredibly difficult time for me, and for our family as we dealt with our house having burnt down, and all the fallout from that. This decision, or lack thereof weighed heavy on my heart through all this.
In February, we were offered the job of taking on the lead of this church plant and we made the hard decision that this was the right thing for us to do. I remember thinking about what I would say to the youth I had spent 7 years with, and really did not want to leave. I stressed over it for a while and then I knew what I needed to say. I said, "remember when we were on that bus on the way home from Mexico..."
I had already told them!
Of course none of them remembered
This decision was a hard one, and for good reason...this is hard! So far (I have been in Point Douglas full time since June) I have not had major questions as to whether it was the right decision, but major questions as to how to do this, how to do this with a family, and sometimes major questions about my own worthiness for such a job.