Written by Scott Capp, Sugar Grove Campus.
I know it’s my job to equip and inspire people for ministry, but sometimes God just blows me away by what He does in and through people.
Ryan and I got to know each other well over six years ago as we both went on one of the first adult Short Term Action Teams to Alaska. I remember that he was rearing to go and serve God and the native American kids that would be at camp.
I remember just how impacted both he and I both were by that trip. In many ways we had gone to serve, and of course were surprised by just much God had intended to bless us through the kids, the camp, new friendships, and most of all, just in the quietness of hearing God’s still small voice, away from all the distractions of phones, email, and all of the demands of work (Ryan shared with me).
I can say personally how I have seen Ryan grow in quietness and confidence as he has continued to serve here at home. He has been a regular contributor to our Short Term Action leadership team, and become one of our main team trainers for the teams that are prepared to go out and serve (along with many other things like an Awana leader). He is preparing now for second trip to Alaska that leaves at the end of June, six years after his first trip in 2007.
Ryan has learned that you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to be a light to a those in need. A few years back, Ryan came to me with the idea of helping out Urban Youth Ministry’s summer baseball program. I was thrilled with the idea. Even though our team has not won many games, it has been a blast helping them learn the game, and being free to talk to them about Jesus each week, as a part of UYM’s Christian outreach. I remember when that first season was done, I challenged Ryan to think of ways to stay connected to the team outside of the 12 weeks of baseball in the off-season.
Ryan has gone above and beyond my hopes as he has not just coached, but loved those boys. The first couple of off-seasons we would rent batting cages at the Vaughn Athletic center. The boys loved it, and it really did help to keep the team together when it came to rallying the players back together for each “spring training” in May.
This past winter I was blown away to find out that Ryan was driving from Sugar Grove over to the East side of Aurora to have a weekly Bible study with the boys at the local McDonalds on Wednesday nights. Many of the boys came out. I’ve told Ryan a couple of times recently that he is an inspiration to me, and I hope that he is to our church family too! I’m not trying to lift up Ryan, but rather allowing Ryan’s passion for Jesus to spread to others who might see that the “mission field” is much closer than we think.
Maybe the Lord is simply asking us to cross the street with the Good News!