Young Life Capernaum

Young Life Capernaum

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Smart People Pray Short Prayers by Christen Morrow de Ara

It was about 4:30am and we were already in the car driving up highway 5 from the Central Valley of California to the Bay Area. My friend Megan, a Capernaum graduate, was coming with me to help me speak to a group of churches about how to include teens & young adults with disabilities in the church.

As we drove through the pre-sunset, pre-coffee morning, I was so sleepy. I said , “You better pray I can keep my eyes open or we might not make it there…” Without pausing in the conversation, without closing her eyes, Megan began “Praise the Lord, Christen’s eyes open, get there, I love you, God.”  When she finished she looked at me with the biggest smile and said “Smart people pray short prayers.”  When our laughter subsided and she had shown me how to slap my cheeks to wake myself up I was left with the thought “Smart people pray short prayers.”

I think of Megan’s prayer… no beginning or end to her conversations with Jesus, no fancy words, just short requests given with confidence. Part of this might be that her prayers are continual, and don’t need to be long. What if we would learn to continually, throughout the day “pray short prayers” with absolute confidence? What if we lived like Jesus was in the car with us?

God, give us your vision about friends with disabilities. Teach us. Help us grow to be more like you and to learn from one another. Use our friends. Provide the funds and leaders needed for Capernaum. Make us love you from our hearts. Amen

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Walk Around the Lake by Lyn Ten Brink

For some of us we pass by, and wonder. For others there was a birth in the family and we learn, and still others an accident or fall and we painfully adjust.  We all have been affected by the world of disability in a unique way.

It started for me by growing up in a community with many group homes, and eventually working in one of those group homes, to supervising a Capernaum Young Life club.  But things really changed for me on a walk around a lake the summer of 2006. 

While on assignment, at Timberwolf  Lake YL camp, I offered to give our Capernaum volunteers a “break” and take some of the girls for a walk around the lake.  My motives were selfish.  I was “serving” our volunteers and I was “helping” these 3 young ladies.  About half way around the lake something happened.  It wasn’t magical or miraculous but it was enough to make my legs slow down, my mind turn reflective, and my eyes to well up.   It was the awareness of a vacuum in me that these 3 girls were filling- I was being “helped.” I was being “served.”

Many things about me adjusted at that moment- my reality was that I needed to change my pace, I needed my conversations to model the conversation these 3 girls were having and I needed to care about the people around me the way they were caring for each other on this walk.  From pats on the back, to slowing down for each other, to clearing things off the path for a friend’s walker – God was there.  He knew I needed that walk.

God was doing to me what he was trying to do for his disciples and generations to come.  He was showing us that our view of who He is and how we respond to the world is incomplete when there are people just like us who surround us.  He walked by foot with his disciples for many miles taking them to lepers, tax collectors, Samaritans, commoners, deaf, blind, demon possessed, city officials…All those miles on foot walked, just so his disciples could get a complete picture of Him.

The purpose of this blog is to share some of our experiences in Capernaum. How our friends are working on us and helping us to work towards a more complete view of God and who we are in Him.  Jesus took his disciples on lots of walks.  Showing them lots of people very different from those showing up at the temple.  He knew what was needed then and he knows what we need now.  Join us.  Who are the people you need to walk with and who are the people you need to walk toward to see a more complete picture of yourself and God?