That’s a great question, and one I’m not entirely sure I have a clear answer for.
When Bea died, we didn’t think we would go back to Rwanda long term, but wanted to be wise and wait a while before we made any permanent decisions.
We knew we wanted to continue in ministry in line with our overall vision. Given all that we have experienced within YWAM, we also thought that we wanted to continue with this organization. As I processed our re-entry to Canada, I have felt inspired that I want to be involved in areas of discipleship, justice, and care for the earth – and have felt drawn specifically to do this work in the West Coast of Canada.
We wanted to take the next couple of years to serve. We wanted to be part of a community that we could genuinely help without having to take responsibility for vision or direction, and somewhere we could learn about the culture and workings of the West Coast.
The obvious choice, which we considered, would have been joining YWAM Vancouver – we love people there, and are sure we could find a place within that structure. Neither of us was excited about the prospect of living within a large city, though.
Last June we attended the YWAM Canada leaders gathering in Calgary. We met a few new people from different ministries. There was someone there about to start YWAM in Nanaimo, and this really stuck out in my mind.
Let’s be honest: if we made out life choices according only to logic, we would be living entirely different lives. There usually is some logic, and reasons that I can explain, but the truth of it is that we have committed our lives to serve God, and committed to following what we sense as His leading and guiding: Nanaimo felt like it might be it.
So, I followed it up: I sent them an email at the end of last year, and I did not fill it out in the same way I filled out our rental applications. I did my best to clearly emphasize our limitations and weaknesses. They took our emails and applications, and pondered and prayed. When they got back to us quickly with an enthusiastic welcome. That was enough confirmation to me to give it a try.
Despite setbacks, we finally got here in May. Within a couple weeks, I think we were ready to say that this seems like a really good fit for us.
We genuinely like and respect the leadership here. In a short time, we have seen them display wisdom, follow-through, and genuine space and care for the people around them (including us). We also like the group of staff (despite the fact that they really make us feel old)! They are passionate, capable, hard-working, skilled, and funny people.
Practically, it is logical for us to jump in and serve in the area of food, but more than that, it feels like there is a real place for us to mentor and encourage.
We’re still working on finding our groove, but thankful that we seemed to have followed that sense of leading and call to a good place.