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So I was off in Togo for most of July, and amazing time on sooo many levels. Great to go out and visit places and people I have known for the past 12 years. It was especially brilliant because it was a trip I didn’t’ think I would ever get to make again. Having left the WYnet job and handed it all over, it was exciting to be asked to head back and train Steve who took over from me. Fortunately I have worked with him for 4 years now, training him wasn’t too big a deal, a good lad is Steve! I can’t really pinpoint what was so good about it. Maybe it was getting away from the 15 months of organising a tour, maybe it was the delight of seeing people and places again. Maybe it was once again the privilege of seeing God at work in the lives of young people again. I miss youth work!
I first headed to Togo 12 years ago with a bunch of mismatches; we headed out to renovate an old missionary house for the Bible translation team to use as an office. At the time I made some real close friends, many of whom I am still in touch with. Little did I know that that trip was going to have quite a profound impact on my life. Not only did it open my eyes further to the big world out there, but it challenged me spiritually too. 5 weeks was a long time to be away from home, but frankly I was happy to be away, things at home weren’t easy or happy for the most part. Coming home from such a trip with a changed perspective, some new friend, and some challenges to face head on with God, really set me up for the next few years of my life. Having the opportunity to take a team of young people out to Togo and be challenged and changed as I was has been a huge privilege of my former job as WYnet coordinator. This year’s trip was no exception.
Great bunch of young people who were happy to get stuck in with all the activities we were up to. Great bunch of young people who were keen to find out more about God’s plan for their lives. Great bunch of young people who got to know each other VERY well, and managed to get on with each other and grew to love each other. Amazing bunch of young people.
I also had the immense privilege to gain a peer. Ruth who was out as one of the leaders has been all the way through WYnet when I was in charge, eventually joining our leadership team. Great to see that relationship move on from Leader / youth to peer. That really doesn’t happen as often as I would like.
Talk about spiritually challenging, the chance to get some time and space away from normal life, somehow the lack of distractions and I guess responsibilities allows time to calm down and allow God to speak and reveal more of Him. It also allows time and space to deal with stuff as it comes up. So one thing I ‘discovered’ God ‘revealed to me’ however you want to term it, I came to the realisation that I have been carrying some resentment. What a great chance to go get some space and deal with that! There are some other things too that go back a bit in time that I could take the chance to sort out!