By Derona Burkholder
It is our first day here at Purdue University for Triennum 2016. This youth trip is very dear to my heart because I attended twice when I was in high school so many years ago. I also attended three years ago as a youth leader. This time it felt different, busy different. I decided that I would be the registrar for the Seattle Presbytery. At the time of Presbytery putting out a call for youth leaders no one was stepping up. To me I thought that I couldn't let our delegation not be able to experience the amazing power this conference has on our youth, and at a time when we need the youth to be together and figure out how they see themselves going into the world to be disciples of Christ. Like I said, this time though felt different because I took on way more than I thought and going into the months of logistical planning and collaborating with my other youth leaders I felt overwhelmed. I have to be honest I wasn't looking forward to going this time and felt like backing out.
Then I got here and attended the first worship with our youth. The music, the words and being together with the youth of today changed my attitude. Dr. Rodger Nishioka, currently director of Adult Education Ministries with Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, Kansas, and a former teacher at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, said this while talking about the Luke reading of Jesus' birth.
“For whatever reason, you are called to be here. That is not your doing; it is the doing of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ. You’re here because God has called you here and has a plan to reveal God’s self to you in some way. If God can reveal God’s self to a bunch of stinky shepherds who live in the field how dare you sit there and think to yourself: God could not possibly reveal God’s self to me because I’m only a young person with no sense of power. Your job is to pay attention and when you see something, you say something. The shepherds go and seek, I hope you are ready, friends let’s go and see.”
As I heard this I though so long ago to when I heard the call to serve as the registrar that it wasn't my doing it was the Holy Spirit and Christ knowing I need this experience again. At a time where my life is full of commitments and schedules. I find peace here among 5,000 youth who are getting energized to go be disciples of Christ.
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