Our boys are in Portland, OR this weekend for a youth conference. This conference, aside from summer camp, is the most anticipated event of their year! Our older boy, Samuel, literally counts down the days to Portland once summer camp is over! LOL They went for the first time last November, and immediately fell in love with it.
They left at 5:30 this morning with Greater Vancouver Baptist Church's youth group. Their plans were to make a couple of stops along the way at places that have become favorites of the kids, like "Taco Rio Rico Taco" (we're not sure if that's the real name or the youth pastor's corruption of the name!) and an outlet mall somewhere down the road. Wes and I have been pleasantly surprised that our boys have done everything they can to be thoroughly Canadian as they go with this Canadian group of teens. The boys bought red poppies to wear at the conference in honor of Remembrance Day, the same day as Veteran's Day in the US, which some of the Canadian kids have done. Canadian kids are also much quieter than American kids as far as cheering for their church and things like that. In an American group, our boys would be among the loudest cheerers. It's just amazing to me that they have adapted to Canadian culture so well, and have done it willingly.
Another exciting thing about this conference is that the pastor and youth pastor of the church hosting the conference are allowing Andrew to add an advertisment for his IFB Teens Forum to the scrolling information on the large screen in the church auditorium during the conference. This will bring more interest to the forum, which now has nearly 60 members! He also has an ad in Glow in the Dark devotional booklet this month. It's been fun to see the Lord open doors regarding this venture of Andrew's, and to see teens from around the world getting to know each other and find safe fellowship on the internet. This started as something of an experiment, and has grown of its own accord, really. It's also helping Andrew learn to be a leader, which is always valuable to a young man. We're proud of his work on the forum; he's done very well with it!
Another bittersweet thing to Wes and me is how quickly our children are growing up. They are so excited about life and growing up and what they're going to do with their lives. I feel like I've been left in the dust! Hey, guys, Mom's back here! Nobody told me it would be this fast or squeeze this hard! Of course, I wouldn't want it any other way. This is the normal course of life, and anything else would be abnormal. But, man oh man . . . they don't stay little for very long.