I am one night away from a very busy, but hopefully very meaningful week, Tidal Impact 2013. Tidal Impact is Canada’s largest week long mission focused youth event. There will be about 1000 teens and their leaders participating in Halifax Regional Municipality and The Annapolis Valley.25 teens and their leaders from two different New Brunswick churches will come to visit Lower Sackville tomorrow. Sackville United Baptist, Faith Baptist and Sackville Christian Fellowship will be their hosts.
But Tidal Impact is not a vacation and it is more than a trip away. Tidal Impact is a week that is all about service.
We service the community. We have a number of things planned. We are working to help develop the park behind Acadia Hall. We are cleaning up around First Lake. We are participating in a major food drive. And we are running activities for seniors and children. The week will be long, it will stretch many of us, and it will be worth it.
But I am anticipating more than the teens arriving tomorrow. I am anticipating more than a week of hard but meaningful work. I am anticipating God to show up in powerful ways.
Two years ago I participated in Tidal Impact 2011 in New Brunswick. The week was very meaningful for me. I blogged a little each day about it on my old site. You can find that collection of posts here.
During the summer of 2011 I was struggling with being a pastor. The previous year had been a very hard one. One filled with fights, hard conversations and more tension than I felt I could handle. I was ready to give up and find something else to do. But I decided to hold on a little longer. I decided to take the teens I was working with to Tidal Impact as I promised. I knew afterward I had to make bigger decisions. But they could wait for one more week.
As the week unfolded I began to change. As we painted park benches, ran a children’s program, swam together, and ate together, my stress and confusion begin to lift. My heart became a little lighter and I remembered why I went into ministry again. I grew that week. I became better and expressing gratitude, I became better at handling the more emotive parts of ministry (some people like to hug…I do not), and I gained a peace about whatever would happen next.
I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say we had a tremendous week together. I was recharged and ready to go. I won’t lie I had hoped that after such a successful week played out in front of many of my bosses that it would renew my ministry and roll in that church. God had something different in mind so that is not what happened.
Three months later I tendered my resignation, and three months after that my ministry ended at West End Baptist. But as I left that ministry behind, I knew I wasn’t leaving the ministry behind.
God showed up during Tidal Impact 2011 for me and he reaffirmed me. He re-called me. Now here I am in 2013 a year into my new ministry at Sackville United Baptist ready to engage in Tidal Impact 2013. I don’t know how God will show up in our group, and in each of our lives this week. But I know he will.
I am anticipating God this week.