This September I became one of the sponsors for the youth group at my church (Pioneer Park Christian Fellowship in Kitchener, Ontario). This past summer, I had told one of the previous sponsors, my friend David Sararus, that I would like to become involved with the youth because David and his wife, Juanita Laverty (also a friend) were going to be moving to Indiana to attend Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary and they (obviously) wouldn't be able to continue being sponsors.
I'm not sure why I volunteered to do this, just that it felt like I should. Maybe it was God calling me to do this — I don't know.
There are three other sponsors so it's not like I'm flailing around on my own, not knowing what to do. And the kids are great — I like them and I'm hoping that they like me. :-)
This past weekend was the Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada youth exchange weekend and on the drive to our host church (Living Water Community Christian Fellowship, New Hamburg, Ontario), remembering what these weekends had been like when I had been in youth group fifteen(ack!)-plus years ago, In I started to wonder just what the heck I have gotten myself in for? But you know what? It was fun! Yes, I only got 5 hours of sleep Friday night and yes, I wasn't all that thrilled about not being able to have a shower Saturday morning because we slept at the church, but all in all the experience as a sponsor was not all that different from my long ago days as a teenager. Fun games, a thought provoking speaker and (even though I am not fully comfortable with the more charismatic style) great worship with the 8 teens from PPCF, the 30+ teens from Living Waters and the 15+ teens of the second visiting youth group from East Zorra Mennonite Church in Tavistock.
I can only hope that my being a sponsor will be as meaningful for these kids as I know it will be for me, and look forward to doing this for a good long while.