This past week i have walked the trail with 9 clients (3 Americans, 3 Aussies, 1 Irish woman, & 2 Brits) quite a mixture. Certainly made dinner discussion interesting.
Meanwhile on the trail we have had days varying from 4-9hours, depending on their speed. That said each day there is the option of taking the boat to the next lodge rather than hiking. And we had 2 takers from the 1st day, as what was supposed to be 5 hours took 7HOURS!!!
As i have hiked i have intentionally spent and shared my time with all the folks that i have been guiding this week. And guess what, the some of the same foci i had in intentional ministry for 11 years are no different now. Not that this should come as any surprise to you. Everyone has a story & more than anything else wants to be listened too. Its been fun but challenging returning to this focus of trying to be the worlds best listener or remember that we have 2 ears & 1 mouth and therefore should listen as much as we speak. Furthermore, providing me with great opportunities to facilitate and ask lot of open ended questions. And provide a platform for my people to speak and more importantly be heard. All of the previous few sentences summarize a fear than or perceived challenge that i was expecting as i transitioned into this work.
In addition to taking these next couple of years for me at least to figure out what is next and what next looks like after here. I am quite sure that it is camp & conference ministry including young adult ministry but what and where is that and what will it look like.
The challenges i have with understanding that as i look forward and venturing into territory when we return is as mentioned… what does it look like & how do i maintain the strengths and passions i have without having to sell out and become this or that.
With all that said the people i am hiking with as all students of the world like all of us. Students of the culture, typically in there 50’s and up. Imagine this as my sample group this week, in addition to the nationalities already mentioned… A retired British Special Forces guy. A woman who runs he own foot care business. A woman who just sold her own foster child agency. A guy who had his own business making plastic bags, a guy who worked on the North Sea oil rigs for 35 years, a woman who works in mental health, amongst others.
All of which is providing me with great field research.