Like a giant among men, here I stand Monday morning in worship amongst a sea of young people. I don’t feel out of place as one of God’s children but there are times when I can see and feel the difference of when I did my DTS all those years ago compared to this YWAM community filled with staff and students of whom the majority are half my age.
How does one connect with youth when there’s a vast array of differences between us? How does socializing work when jokes are from a culture 20 years apart and they don’t resonate with the young people of today?
The only thing I can think of is God. He guided me here for this time and for His purpose.
Regardless of my age and experiences, the goal is still the same: to know God and to make Him known.
I have to be careful sometimes when I walk into a room, or in this case, out onto the deck, and overhear conversations. Many times I want to share my thoughts, my “2 cents” on whatever subject they are talking about. As simple as that may seem, it can be tricky. For as much life experience that I have, I might not be the wisest person in the room.
Yes, with life experiences comes wisdom, but I need to remember what life was like when I first started out on my YWAM journey, my continuing journey with God. It was a time of discovery, a time of learning and a time of really understanding what it meant to follow GOD.
With all that knowledge, I can’t just come in thinking that I have all this wisdom to share with everyone. I may feel like I have all the answers for the youth of today, and especially in YWAM, but in my years of growing and following God, I’ve learned it’s all about His timing – in everything and not just for me but for everyone, individually and collectively.
So how do I navigate in the land of youth? How do I know the timing of when to pray for someone, give advice or just listen? The only solution I can come up with is God – as cliche as that sounds.
Recently as I was sitting in a staff meeting, we were asked to share our testimony with a fellow staff member. As I told my story, I couldn’t help but reflect back on my life. It was almost 20 years ago when I started to really get serious with God.
The years that followed had definite moments of feeling like God was profoundly present and there were other moments when He felt so far away, sometimes silent, but through it all I would rely on Him.
This included jobs, moves, commitments and even being involved with different YWAM bases around the world. Many times I found myself asking, “How am I going to get through this?” or “I’m not prepared for this.” Often times I would cry out to God for help.
One theme I’ve noticed in my life is me jumping into things without fully understanding what I’m doing and seeing God consistently getting me through.
The same is true now, I stepped into a commitment with YWAM Ships after being in Kona for a week. Before I came, however, God was preparing me. He gave me hints along the way so that when I arrived I was prepped without even knowing it. He’s done the same thing in the past – many times actually.
God is so spectacular in setting things up. I trust Him with my life and I trust Him in this season. He continues to educate me on how everyone is significant to Him. I’m always amazed when I see and hear a young person fully dedicated to following God.
Sometimes it takes a wake up call to realize that I may be older than most here but I still have a whole lot to learn.
So to ask again, how do I connect with youth? By relying on God.
By Jaime Gomez
Port YWAM Kona Communications Staff
Relying on God can be challenging. Contact us to see how joining YWAM can put your life into perspective.