Just Like Any Other Student

Tim walked into Cafe this past fall like any other new student.

A little shy and overwhelmed, by the music, noise of other students, and espresso machine working overtime. At the invite of a friend he decided to check out the youth cafe after school here on Camp Foster. It was fun to get to know another new student, and once he got comfortable, he really seemed to enjoy the fun, free flowing community of the Cafe.

He was back the next week, and this time he had questions. So we sat down every week and talked through his questions. A month later he started coming to youth group and reading through the book of John. As we talked through the life of Jesus and the message of the gospel, Tim continued to ask deeper questions.

Tim grew up in church but hadn’t been there in years and his family hadn’t either. He knew many of the standard answers, but it was obvious that at this point those truths were starting to have a transforming work in his life. It was clear at this point that Tim was following Jesus, and deepening his walk with the Lord.

One week at youth group, in tears, Tim confessed some struggles he had been living with for the past few years. Over the next few months, with the encouragement of the youth group community of leaders, Tim found freedom and joy. In May, Tim asked to be baptized. We had the privilege of baptizing him alongside 4 other students!

On the day of the baptism, Tim walked up to me on the beach. With the sun setting over the East China Sea, there are few more memorable places for this momentous celebration of faith!

I asked Tim if his parents had decided to join us that day. Tim timidly looked down and kicked the sand. “No”, was the soft answer. Then suddenly he looked up with some real intensity in his eyes and said, “but my family is still here.”

I was amazed, what a powerful testimony of the body of Christ, being the support and encouragement of this young man’s spiritual growth.

It reminded me as we walk with the Lord, we never do it alone. Sometimes it’s not always the people we most want to walk with us, but the Lord never leaves us alone. It’s been a privilege to walk with Tim this year, and send him out as a graduated senior to follow Jesus, and now be an encouragement to others in their walk.