By: Elita Fung - Outreach Worker in St. James Town
We always brace ourselves for the start of the school year. While we run 6-7 weeks of day camp in the summer, we usually hold our camp at a different location, and not all the kids who come out are the same as those who come out during the year. Stepping into September always means stepping into uncertainty.
Sometimes it means we don't quite figure out which classrooms we're using from our rental space until the day of programs. Sometimes it means kids showing up unexpectedly with forms saying they're joining programs. Sometimes it might even mean finding out that some of our kids from last year aren't coming back because they're old enough to walk home on their own.
This season is the kind that makes me feel extremely unsettled. I want my life to be well scheduled. I want my expectations to be met, my plans to be executed. The uncertainty puts me in a perpetual state of "being flexible", something that I have an extremely hard time being. But it also puts me in a perpetual state of open-handedness. It forces me to say, "Ok God. Whatever you give me today and whatever you don't give me today is a gift from you. It's something I don't deserve and yet it is given to me because it is the best thing for me."
And that's hard when you have a mix-up with the building you're using, or when you can't find the supplies you hastily shoved into the cabinets after moving back from day camp and there's a fairly impatient kid who needs to draw right now or else! It's hard when there are kids you know could really use a safe space and safe leaders who waves a passing "hello" because he is no longer in your programs.
I guess that's the point. Ministry is not perfect. It's messy, it's small and mundane and more often than not it shows us how little we really are. But it is the humble struggles that cause us to depend on a God who pushes His kingdom agenda ever forward despite or even through our uncertainties.