By Alvin Lau, CBOQ Youth Ministries Associate
Since 2001, CBOQ Youth has led several short-term mission experiences (or what we call “compassion experiences”) to the Dominican Republic alongside the Lighthouse Project (https://www.iteams.ca/impact/dominican-republic).
Our aim is to facilitate an overseas compassion experience (CE) especially for youth ministries who haven’t yet led their own before. We provide the logistical and spiritual support in preparing for, experiencing and debriefing a safe opportunity so those youth ministries will be better prepared to lead their own in the future.
This being my second time at the Lighthouse Project, I served alongside team members from Mimico Baptist Church (including my own family) and Kingsway Baptist Church. Our eight days in the Dominican Republic culminated in both a series of blessings and challenges. We were fed and challenged physically, mentally, and spiritually; you can read more details at cboqyouth.ca/dr2023.
For me personally, this experience came in the latter part of a very intense season of CBOQ Youth. From January to March, CBOQ Youth hosted Avalanche (Jr. high retreat) and Blizzard (High School retreat) with significant involvement at Today’s Teens Conference (hosted by Youth Unlimited) followed by this CE, bookended by Centre Court Jr (our CBOQ Next Gen initiative with Raptors 905).
Through it all, I was continuously reminded of God’s providence and presence. In each event, we had a prayerfully discerned plan. Through each experience (especially with CE), there were times when things did not go according to plan.
God showed me that he is faithful, for his results rise to the surface. He reminded me that he provides in the logistics, in physical and mental stamina, and most importantly in the care of all our souls. Even in moments when our CE team faced moments of tension whether within ourselves or with others, God’s grace is sufficient through it all.
Ultimately, God is sufficient through it all to all people, all the time.