As fun as that was it was even more fun spending time with your daughter, Kelly, reuniting with her friends, meeting new friends and catching up with former youth ministry students. Several students from the Santa Barbara ministry settled in Seattle. In addition we met up with a former youth ministry student from my seminary days as a youth pastor. Sitting at lunches, dinners, breakfasts and coffees with these people was rewarding for Nancy and I. These are people I knew as Jr. Highers, now married with children who include a PhD college professor, a college/young adult pastor, administrative assistant in a local ministry, food service specialist with a non-profit helping homeless get on their feet in the job market and senior citizen pastor in the Seattle downtown mission. This is just the beginning of what they are now doing to serve Christ in their world.
Anybody in youth ministry for awhile would know how it feels to be around long enough to see your kids grow and serve God. Anybody in youth ministry would know you do feel like a proud parent in these situations. Anybody in youth ministry for awhile would also know with these "success" stories come the stories of pain and those who are lost. I still love these kids too. I will keep praying for all my youth and be ready to welcome them "home" at any time.
My verse for today? Proverbs 27:23, "Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds."