This morning I want to take a moment to brag on 2 young men.
I had the opportunity to present Cody and Martin scholarships (collected from Vineyard in Elmwood alumni) at their grad for Elmwood High School. I’ve not been so proud of two guys who, when presented with opportunity to make poor decisions made a series of good ones. They both got involved with floor hockey at Youth for Christ when they were in grade 7, accepted invitations to Alpha in grade 9 & 10, were faithful participants in the Vineyard church, went on YFC retreats (Cody got baptized at one) and diligently worked to graduate.
Our family loves Martin and regularly we’ll see one or two or three of them sitting on his lap, talking and playing. His crazy hair has impressed and inspired us (even influenced my Mohawk!). This year Orien gave Martin the “Trusted Adult Certificate” – an award that many elementary students are encouraged to give as they learn about who to trust. I had the privilege of baptizing Martin 3 years ago. I think the most telling story of Martin came after he finished his first Alpha Course. His 12 year old sister started coming with him to every church event because he’d been so significantly changed that she needed to know what it was that had changed him. Martin will be at the University of Winnipeg in the fall.
Cody is a quiet, thoughtful young man who has a good history of saying yes. Last summer he came with me to get training for Rock the River (how to share your faith) and then accepted my invitation to be a camp counsellor (I’m not sure he’d have said yes if he knew what he was getting into) where he did a great job of loving on a cabin group of elementary aged boys including my oldest. Besides receiving our scholarship he also received the Clara Hughes Award – a top athletic award at Elmwood HS. (Clara Hughes will compete in her 5th Olympics this summer and is an Elmwood graduate.) Cody is taking the Bald Eagles pre-military training this summer as he considers his options.
Thank you to our Vineyard in Elmwood family for raising the funds to give each $500 and for walking with these guys over the past 4-5 years. Thank you to Youth for Christ Winnipeg and the Samson’s guys for finding them, encouraging them, inviting them, teaching and having a lot of fun with them! Thanks Tony & Kirsten for getting them out to your house group. Thanks James for seeing what others couldn’t see and inviting them into the adventure of following Jesus. Thanks Christa for cooking such good food that they kept coming back. Thank you Jesus for choosing these young men for your purpose.