I remember attending NYC 1999 with the Nazarene Church. As I write this, the day before taking a trip with my teens to IYC (Free Methodist version) in San Diego (yup, totally wrote posts ahead of time, knowing I wouldn’t have internet in California. I’m a nerd.) , I think back on our time in Toronto as a teenager..
– Inviting tons of people to a giant bubble bath that took place in our hotel room. Only to have myself and one other guy (bathing suits of course) take advantage of such fun. Of course, many came…but without proper attire…their loss. 🙂 I’m pretty sure pictures still exist of this somewhere….
– Wearing a full on polyester plaid suit and bowtie going with my group to see “Phantom of the Opera” in Toronto. The original Cat-Woman (from the TV show) was in the audience. On the way there, I gave a rose I’d been given by a vendor to a girl who struck my fancy at random during a brief encounter. My wife just so happened to have the same story, from the opposite side of things…(she received a rose from a hyperactive nice guy in an odd suit while walking with her group in Toronto that day) …crazy, eh?
– Playing “Simon Says” with a deaf girl, only to find out after she’d lost the game, and I’d sat with her for about 30 minutes talking…that she hadn’t been able to hear me the entire time. God spoke to me in big ways about “listening to others” that week after that.
– Opting to listen to someone else later that week, I found myself getting medical attention for them…which whisked me away to a backstage area, where I got to meet Audio Adrenaline in person before they took the stage! Woot.
– Solidifying the calling I felt to be moving into a life of youth ministry, and looking forward to beginning my college journey toward that goal.
– Being featured in a local Toronto paper as one of many teenagers who were there for a large Christian Youth Conference. They highlighted that I “Only listened to Christian Music, except the Sesame Street Dance Mix”, but when the article was published – they put a picture of my friend, Tom. Yup, I totally had the cd my kids love back when I was in high school. I win.
– My first and only major train ride, from Detroit to Toronto, and trying to meet every single person I could from ours and other groups along the way. I’d taken my youth pastors’ wife’s advice, and begun showering and using deodorant….it was amazing how much more people would want to talk with you after that! Thanks JoLynn!!! 🙂
– Over-all had an amazing time, and moments of transformation I can still point to in my life today. I pray that similar experiences are filling the week of our teens even as you read this…and that God is moving in a way only He can. May it continue well after we return to God’s work here in Decatur and our communities beyond.