Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Monday, October 15, 2012

There was a Collision Saturday night

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

We held a Collision event Saturday night.

You might be asking yourself, "What is a Collision event?"

A Collision event is where teens collide with the Risen Christ.

We held the event at our YMCA.

It is quite an event actually. We set up a game room in the community room, this is a room that has all different types of video games; it is also a place where the kids eat pizza. We have a girls only room set up in our fun club room. It is a place where the girls can go and have conversations. The room comes complete with a chocolate fountain, the girls love having this space. We played basketball, volleyball, dodge ball; we even had a paint wall out back. We had a worship concert; not just nay worship concert but one with a well-known Christian band.

149 kids showed up for Collision.

This was our third Collision event.

45 kids showed up at our first Collision.

92 kids showed up at our second Collision.

149 kids showed up at this Collision.

The climax of the night we ask the kids to make a decision.

At our first Collision we had 15 kids make a decision for Christ.

At our second Collision we had 34 kids make a decision for Christ.

42 kids made a decision for Christ Saturday night.

In the last year, we had 286 kids come to Collision.

In the last year, we had 91 kids comes into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

91 kids whose lives are forever changed.

After the event, Brandon; the pastor of Rhapsody Church, and my partner in ministry at the YMCA said, "Roger, 10 years ago would you have ever thought 91 kids would have been saved in a YMCA gymnasium?" I answered 10 years ago, the pastors used to call us the YMA, there was no “C” in it. Today is a different story. We are known as the YMCA.

I am reminded of a song; it goes like this.

Come away with me, come away
It's never too late,
it's never too late,
it's not too late for you.

I have a plan for you,
I have a plan.
It's going to be wild,
it's going to be great,
it's going to be full of me

As I look back at our Saturday night at the YMCA, Two verses comes to mind.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17

All we did Saturday night was set the table and invite teens to join us, Christ did the rest.

I just wanted to share this with you.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Oh, the possibilities

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

The days are turning cooler and the leaves are turning brighter, fall is definitely in the air. Fall is here, and fall always reminds me of football.

Back home in Kansas I always looked forward to fall. Yes, it meant that football season was upon us; but truth be told, what I really enjoyed was school. School meant that I would get to see all my friends again. As fun as summer always was, school was were we would all get together, catch up on life, and look forward to the things ahead.

I still think about school and all the things that went on there.

Our YMCA is getting ready for an expansion, one that will include a new lap pool, indoor track, more program space...what I am most excited about is the multipurpose room. The multi-purpose room is a space that will be multi-purposed...duh. The portion of the multi-purpose that I am most excited about is the fact that we will have a stage, complete with a sound system and plenty of storage. It will give us the opportunity to hold Sunday services while the YMCA is open for operation since we will no longer need to haul everything in and out of the gym. We will have a projector and big screen so that we can have family movie nights. We will have the ability to hold regional trainings and for the schools to use for a variety of functions.

Along with everything else that we are doing the multi-purpose room will create a space were the entire community can come, utilize the space, and at the same time get a chance to see the "Y" staff being in right relationship with other members that call the YMCA their home.

It is a funny thing; I get the same feeling when I walk into the YMCA as I did when I walked into school growing up. I get excited to see many friendly faces, and I get excited for the the things that I do not even know will happen that day.

As the weekend draws near I still get excited about football. I just don't suite up anymore. I have traded pads and cleats for chips and salsa; which reminds me I better start working out before I gain anymore weight; If I gain anymore weight I will have to move to a planet with less gravity.

Not your normal daily bread, but I just had to tell you about our YMCA.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Windshield of life

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I haven't talked with you for a while and I apologize.

We finally closed on our house, a process that seemed to go on for much too long. We had hoped that the closing process would have gone much more quickly, but looking back, I for one, am glad that the process took the time it did. During this process we became friends with the sellers and a relationship was built. The sellers are a group of four girls. They had inherited the house after their father had passed away; they had hoped for a quick sale, this process was hard for them as well.

Laurie and I, when we decided to relocate to Vancouver, had come to the decision after much prayer and reflection that we wanted a home that would also serve as a place where people could come and find "space to breath." We must have looked at over 70 homes before we found such a place. After months of looking we found an old home that had not been lived in for a time; it had great bones but needed work. We put an offer in on the house and it was accepted.

This is were the real journey begins.

At first, the realtors were doing all the communicating, but as time went on the sellers and the buyers (Laurie and I) started communicating; first over email and then over the phone.

A friendship started to emerge.

We started to reassure each other that, while the process is taking longer than any of us want it to take, we knew this was the right thing for everyone and that God was in the middle of it. There where times when Laurie and I would ask the question, "Are we sitting in the middle of God's will or have we stepped outside of His will for want of the house?" Each time we would receive the answer, "No, you are doing what I have asked, be patient." When I would talk with Caryn (one of the sisters who was in charge of selling the house) she would echo the same.

After we closed on the house, the girls asked if they could come out and spend some time with us, and see the house that they once called home. Laurie and I were excited to see them and put faces to the voices on the phone. We set a date and waited for the Rader girls.

It was a Sunday afternoon when Caryn, Cathy, Camille, and Christine came to the house. We started by walking through the entire house and the girls reminiscing about growing up in what is now Laurie and my home. After the tour, we sat and started to talk.

The girls told us how two years before Laurie and I ever thought about moving they had come together and prayed for just the right people to buy their home. They did not want "just anybody" to buy their home, but they prayed that God would bring someone that would steward the house and use it for a greater purpose. When Laurie and I told them that we have already had people out to sit by the river, and take time to breath. That this has already been a place where people can find a thin place to Christ and God; they knew that they had been faithful to what God had called them to be.

They recounted the good times, they recounted the sad times. Laurie and I sat and listened while they talked about their lives and the struggles they had faced.

We broke bread together, we laughed together, we shared words of encouragement.

They asked if we had a place for their grandmother's piano, they wanted it to come home. We showed them where we would place it and asked if they approved; they said that the place we had chosen would be perfect.

We talked about having a bench in the back yard, by the river, with a plaque that would read something like, "Gordon loved it here."

We talked about how this is not just Laurie and my home, but that the Rader home will always be here, we are merely stewards.

When they went to leave, a short five and one half hours later, we hugged each other. Caryn and I made plans for me to meet her son Matthew who after a long struggle is nearing the end of his time here on earth. Caryn asked if I would preside over his celebration of life when he passes, I said I would be honored.

I can never see God's plan as I look through the windshield of life. It is only when I glance in the rearview mirror that I get to see what He is up to. Unfortunately, if I look to long in the rearview mirror I run the risk of crashing the car of life. I am forced to look through the windshield and thus live in the mystery.

I for one, thank God for bringing the Rader girls into our lives.

God is good.