Have you ever found yourself surrounded by many people, yet still feeling a sense of loneliness? Lately, I've been researching the topic of loneliness, and what I've discovered is quite fascinating.
Loneliness, it seems, isn't just about the quantity of connections we have, but rather the quality of those connections. I know, it might sound like an obvious revelation, but putting it into practice can be more challenging than it seems. We often spend our days with people, yet we hardly scratch the surface of understanding how they're truly doing or what they might be going through.
This phenomenon even extends to my work with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Perth. Even though there are some people who I have worked with for over five years, I realized that I didn't even know how some of them found their faith or what personal challenges they're facing. Especially as men, it seems, that we can do a lot of stuff together without ever going truly deep and getting to the topics that matter.
This realisation gave me the idea to organize a camping trip for men. There's something about sitting around a campfire that fosters deeper, more meaningful conversations. This most recent trip was my third time organising such an event, and my goal was to create opportunities for men from our organisation to develop new, meaningful connections with one another.
Our camping group was a diverse mix of men of various ages and life stages. Each stage of life presents its unique set of challenges, and as I reflect on my own experience, I'm grateful for the friendship of those who were going through similar seasons with me, and for the wisdom shared by those who had journeyed ahead of us. My hope is to help create these support systems for others as well.
During our time around the campfire, we opened up about how we found our faith and joined YWAM, shared stories of how we met our spouses and asked them the big question. One single guy took lots of notes, clearly inspired by the shared wisdom. :D
One man, who had wanted clarity for the next steps in his life, managed to set aside dedicated time to connect with God during our trip and received a clear sense of direction from God about his family's future.
I also had the privilege of a deep conversation with a young man – that we are still continuing now after the camp – who had questions about doing life with God. It's encouraging to see these connections continue to flourish post-camping.
Overall, it was a truly enriching and bonding experience, sitting around the campfire, and sharing stories. It was a time with lots of fun, but also of godly, brotherly fellowship that left us feeling more connected and inspired.
Thank you so much to all those who prayed for our camping trip. Your prayers made it a great and meaningful weekend!