Posted by: ritagone | January 29, 2014

Me & Christian Associates

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I am almost 70 years old and feeling rather sentimental today.  I’ve been thinking about the important people and the important organizations in my life.

Here’s what my life would be like without my affiliation with Christian Associates International, the church-planting, missional organization where I have been a board member for about 17 years now:

I watch a lot of movies, read a lot of books.  I have great friends who we do fun things with, am in a thriving church which does all the things I love for a church to do: reach out into the community, tackle the hard issues of life, and create a space for the youth of our area to meet Jesus.

My two adult children live close by, which makes me more fortunate than many of my peers.  My son-in-law is one of the finest young men I know, beloved by the school where he works and by me.  I couldn’t be prouder of my four grandchildren.

I have good health, a husband who loves me, two dogs whose tails wag with great joy when I walk into the room.

A wonderful life, by most standards.

Now here’s how Christian Associates has impacted my life:

We have a Russian young man staying with us right now.  That’s a statement that not many can make on any given day!  He’s a guy we’ve worked with doing marriage retreats and ministry together.  I’ve been to Russia twice and am going back this July to spend time with married couples and kids, to be a small part of helping families in a country where families and marriages don’t have a great success rate.  Would I have Sergey (and his wife Katya) in my life without CA?  Absolutely not!

I have met some of the most fascinating people in the world because of CA.  I can’t mention them all, because this blog would then be a novella, but spending time with these folks has changed me from the inside out.  I am not the same – and this is a good thing!  (That’s me, of course, in the photo with, from left to right, CA President Dudley Callison, CA author Dan Steigerwald, author/speaker Michael Frost, and CA Director of Recruitment Teal Rapp.  Love these guys!)

I have been places in the world that I would never have seen if I hadn’t been involved with CA, and I have seen those places through different eyes.   My perspective on life is broader and deeper because I have been able to talk to people who have lived differently than I, who see the world not only from an American viewpoint but from a European one, an African one, or a Russian.  How fortunate I am to be able to do this!

I have experienced highs and lows, excitement, the thrill of being a part of something so much bigger than myself that it gives me goosebumps when I think about it or stand back and watch it unfurl.  I have cried with friends and colleagues, laughed halfway round the world at jokes and events that are still funny 15 years later. (Like finding a fish head in your purse at the end of a dinner in Portugal, put there by our beloved founder, past president and practical jokester Linus Morris.)

When people say to me that I have given so much to CA, I laugh.  Because what I have given to CA is nothing in comparison to what CA has given me.

And with God’s grace that relationship will continue for many more years!

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Responses

  1. many, MANY more years, is my prayer 🙂 I enjoyed this, and I pray it causes others to think about the people and ministries that add color to their lives as well. D

  2. You blessed the CPC too, lo those many years ago. I always felt grateful to have your support and generosity.


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