Not how we wanted to end

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It wasn’t supposed to end like this!

This week we had to make the hard decision to suspend our year with Fellows Nate and Christian. We had so much left to do, so much more to process, and so much more to say to each other.

Two weeks ago Christian, Nate and I embarked for 10 days on the road. We visited with one of our supporting parishes (Good Samaritan Anglican in Middleburg, FL), were refreshed by a Lenten retreat at Camp Saint Christopher in South Carolina, updated the Anglican Global Mission Parters in Georgia, and finished up at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to share with Nate’s home church.

And that’s when things went sideways. Churches started to cancel services, the organizations we volunteer with in Pittsburgh started shuttering their doors, and we faced the reality that it would be better for our guys to ride things out with their families instead of their host families in Pittsburgh.

We left Nate in North Carolina with his family and drove back to Pittsburgh to get Christian home to El Paso. While we will continue to meet together virtually and are plotting a summer reunion, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t supposed to be like this. We were supposed to end our year with the deep, satisfying feeling that we had accomplished our goal. I wanted to feel like we had made an impact.

So God sent me a reminder. Almost two weeks after we shared in Florida, a parishioner commented on a picture we had posted to Facebook. They said, “I was a participant in the service at Good Samaritan on March 8th when the Agape Year guys were our guests. Couldn’t be more impressed with Mr. Nate Twichell and the two young men, Nate and Christian. I told Father Chris afterward that I can count on one hand my favorite services since we have been members and I now count this as one of them, and that the church looks to be in good hands.” Well now.

I always want to do more. I always want more Fellows, more change, more impact. When we decided to cut our year short my first reaction was that we hadn’t done enough. So God reminded me not to worry about our numbers or our impact. He’s got our Fellows and we’re trusting them to Him. In this time of uncertainty:

May the Lord of peace himself give you (and me!) his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16