During the week that we returned home from our honeymoon, we got the first phone call about a church in Niverville needing a youth pastor.
We didn’t pay any attention to it. We were busy settling into our new home, opening our wedding gifts, returning to the jobs we already had. Ben wasn’t looking for a new job.
On top of all that, we had decided that although we really wanted to be involved in youth ministry, we would hold off on it for our first year of being married.
But Ben’s former professor from Steinbach Bible College was very persistent. The church in Niverville had contacted him to see if he knew of anyone looking for a job in youth ministry, and he felt that Ben would be a good fit. He left messages and talked to Ben about it, and even tried to get me to talk Ben into applying.
Finally Ben called the contact person, and got some of the details about the job. Everything sounded fantastic. It sounded like it was everything we were hoping to find… in a year.
It was very tempting to ditch the plan of waiting a year before going into ministry, but we just felt that we couldn’t. We had talked and prayed about it a lot, it still felt like the right thing to do, and we had made other commitments that we couldn’t back out of…no matter how perfect a fit this job opportunity seemed.
But somehow, the opportunity kept lingering. The search committee decided that we should all get together, just because it would be a good idea to at least meet.
I remember feeling like there wasn’t much point, but why not? It couldn’t hurt.
Except it did! Because everything seemed so perfect! I felt frustrated and kind of angry at God – why couldn’t it all just work out?
By this point, five months had passed since we had first heard about the job. They wanted someone within two months. We weren’t available for another seven. And it seemed hopeless.
I cried to my mom on the phone, because I was so disappointed that it couldn’t work. And she was completely calm. She said that it seemed so much like a God-given opportunity that she just had faith. God would work it out.
And He did. The church decided that since they hadn’t ever had a youth pastor, they could wait another seven months for one, if we would agree to do it.
And that was the beginning of an incredible experience. We loved being a part of that church family. We loved the youth, we loved the youth sponsors who worked with us, we loved Niverville. We loved all that God taught us during that time.
Obviously, it wasn’t perfect. There were times when we wanted to see more change and growth in our ministry. There were times of discouragement when the youth would leave our group for various reasons, and it felt like the relationships we were working so hard at were making no difference.
But there were so many great moments, and times of growth and excitement – times of being challenged, of seeing our prayers answered and our dreams fulfilled.
It was amazing because God was in it.
We never planned to end up in Niverville, but I will always be glad that we did!