Today I blessed to spend time with two good friends who are leaving town within the next few days to continue on their respective life journeys.
For dinner we hosted the myth, the man, and the legend Jan Chan for dinner at our place. The kids (along with Gail and I) had been looking forward to his visit all week and unsurprisingly there was no shortage of things to talk and laugh about. Jan shared stories of his two years of teaching in different cities in England along with his excitement of going to Melbourne to work for the upcoming year. We played a fun board game (in which Jan, Jacob, Sean and Gail all tied for first leaving me as the only one in last) and enjoyed yummy fudge bars for dessert before Sean and Jacob defeated Jan and me in a friendly game of soccer on the Xbox (see a pattern here?). It was a great night of both reminiscing and looking ahead.
Earlier for lunch, the OYYAM staff was able to meet Jeremy Keong for some all-you-can-eat Japanese food downtown. It was a great discussion as we learned about all of Jeremy’s experiences during his first term studying at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute (for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America) in Washington, DC. We listened to stories of magnificent Sunday brunches, sharing chores, and racing to meet deadlines. Despite Jeremy’s constant threats to take my job one day, it was wonderful to see that one of our former parish youth ministry coordinators (and archdiocesan stalwarts) was doing so well in an undoubtedly challenging yet fruitful program.
I’m super excited to see both Jan and Jeremy “spread their wings”. And no, I’m not talking about one of all-time favourite R & B songs by TROOP from 1990 (see below). I imagine that moving away to study and/or work can be extremely challenging and stressful. I wouldn’t know as I admit I’m a bit of a mama’s boy (now wife’s boy I guess). But here are both of these young men thriving at what they are doing.
I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to serve with both of them in youth ministry (Jan at both the parish and archdiocesan levels and Jeremy at the archdiocesan level) and I hope that I will get the chance to do so once again in the future. I’m fortunate to call them my friends and I take great comfort in knowing that we will be praying for each other.
In the meantime, I will marvel as they spread their wings and make their leaps of faith.