Well, I've been basking in the glow of being appreciated. You may think that vain, but in Youth Ministry, appreciation is scarce at best, and when it travels in your direction, you take some time to pause at the roadside and savor the verbal view, as it were.
I mentioned a couple of blog entries ago that Ken said some nice words about the work I'd been doing for Peru, and ministry in general. He'd written down some stuff, but forgot it, and winged it. Did a pretty good job too.
I asked him if he'd provide me with a copy of the written text and here it is below. Thanks Ken, and all of you who take the time to verbalize your appreciation of the work I do. It means a lot to me, and to Joycegina.
Read on and enjoy.
A Thank You to Ron & Joycegina
I was going to keep things serious but after watching your attempt at hmnour, I changed my mind. There are a lot of you here that have looked at the blog, read the postings and looked at the pictures. There is a picture of Ron at the top holding a shovel. The operative word here is holding.
The caption below the picture asks a very profound question. Does Ron know what to do with that shovel? The answer is ' not really'. The last time I was at the mall, I passed a book store. They had a wealth of selfhelp books on an incredible range of subjects. You have all heard of the series of books on this or that for dumnmies I'm sure. They actually had one titled" Manual Labour for Dummies". I thought of Ron right away. I would have got it for you but I had already blown the budget on the English lessons.
As some of you know, Ron has some difficulty with grammar and spelling. Perhaps I should have got you a dictionary and that would have left enough money for the self help book. Oh well, live and learn.
Do you recall the 30 second video of Ron running up the hill? We were cheering him on, and as you heard, he set it to the music from Rocky. Isn't it amazing what one can do with digital editing and time lapse photography techniques? I'll let you in on a little secret. That video has been edited big time. It actually took the old guy almost an hour to run up that hill. We got tired of waiting for him went for a walk.
We have had so much fun at each others expense but I hope you know Ron it is done with much love.
Tonight has been about sharing with all of you here, you and thanking you for all your support in making this trip possible. However, there are 2 more very special people that the team want to thank. Ron and Joycegina, could you both come up here for a moment. (Which we did).
Joycegina: We wanted you to know how much we appreciate the ways that you support Ron's work that he has been called to do. We know that its not always easy being married to a Youth Pastor (especially this one:) - Easy there Ken old buddy .... : )
There are times when the work means long hours or him being far from home. That you are at home having to take care of the house and having to be both parents can be a tough task. We just want you to know the sacrifices that you and the kids make because of Ron's work do not go unnoticed and are deeply appreciated by all of us.
Ron: What can we say. For as much work as each of us has put into this trip before, during, and like tonight, after coming home, there is a lot more that has done by you that we don't see. A lot of long hours in planning, execution and follow up. The hard work and effort to make this an incredible learning experience for all of us is priceless. The long hours blogging, trying to keep everyone organized and going in the right direction, being the bad guy sometimes, helping each to grow in their faith and learn about God and ourselves. All of this and so much more is with incredible dedication, passion, and love.
This Church is blessed to have you as its Youth Pastor and we have been truly blessed to have you lead us in this mission trip. It has been an honor to share this experience with you, and we offer our most profound gratitude for all that you have made possible for us. Your passion and faith is an inspiration for us all. May God continue to bless you and your family and prosper all that you do for His Kingdom.
There are times when words can't always express how we truly feel, and at times mere words are not adequate to the task. So, that being said, please accept this as a small token of our appreciation. It is for just the 2 of you to enjoy some alone time together.
(We received an envelope with Cash in it : ) ) Thank you all. Thank you for recognizing Joycegina as well. It meant a lot to her too.
These are the moments that keep one going when times aren't as easy in ministry. : )