A few weeks ago, I found out that Young Life was pulling the plug on Amsterdam. At first I was extremely frustrated. All that work over the past year seemed like it was wasted. The rest of the day was spent praying about what now. Throughout the day though, God reminded me that He called me to minister to and love on the youth and families of Amsterdam, not to be a part of YL. YL was simply a tool to do what I knew God wanted me to do. Even during training in January, I felt God reminding me that YL is a tool, not the mission.
After spending much time in prayer and falling asleep a little after 3 in the morning, I was woken up at 7 by what could only be the Holy Spirit. Seriously, I’m not a morning person and having gone to bed that late, I was ready to sleep till at least 10. Despite trying to, falling back asleep was not an option. I could feel the Spirit “poking” me to get up and think through the idea that “popped” into my head. So I did. After pulling my notebook out, pages quickly began filling up with ideas and thoughts. Things that had been discussed years before now became options. Contacts made and experiences learned over the past few years took them from ideas to being viable opportunities.
The only issue that worried me was how could I finance it in the beginning. I needed to find another organization that would allow people to help me survive in the beginning and that would have a similar mission vision. Well, God provided again. After texting a long time social media friend (a guy I’d only met in person once over pancakes as he flew through Amsterdam) with what was happening, he immediately said he would love to have me join their team. They help youth and children’s workers be able to do what they have been called to do. His ideas and entrepreneurial spirit are exactly what I need to help energize and keep me headed in the right direction. It was a perfect fit.
Since this is the internet and other people can read my ideas and potentially steal them, I’ll refrain from explaining exactly what type of business will be started. But I can tell you that I’ll be starting a business in Amsterdam doing what I’m good at and what parents in the past have said I could charge money for. The timing is perfect for these ventures. Along with the business, I can then help out with different ministry things happening in the area. Some like to use fancy names like tent-making or bi-vocational ministry. I call it doing life. One of the groups I’ll continue working with is the FUSE group at Crossroads International Church. Been helping them the past few years and we’ve seen some great needs for community and spiritual growth happening in the expat/international community. A great thing now is I will not need as much start up support as needed with Young Life, I can now return this summer and file the paperwork needed to start the business and get a new visa.
It’s exciting to see things coming together. Slightly scary at times, but exciting. Some people may think I’m crazy. But they thought that of the disciples long ago. All I know is God says to love Him and love others. He’s just called me to do that in ways different than others.
So when life hands you lemons, sometimes you just have to wait for God to show up with the sugar and water. And if you know the mission He’s called you to, it’s easier to know when it’s Him directing your path. That day I felt like a ton of bricks landed on me. But not for long. God reassured me of the mission He’s called me to, caring about young people and their families, and showed me the direction to head to best meet the needs out there.