It’s been a year since I’ve been back to Albuquerque, which seems like a long time, considering I lived there for 22 consecutive years of my life.

We came back this week because my sister asked me to do her wedding. It was a bit surreal to be marrying my sister and her (now) husband, but it was great. The ceremony and reception were great, and God was glorified!

One thing we love about coming back to Albuquerque is that it’s a time of refreshment and encouragement for us. We were heavily connected to our church, Calvary Albuquerque, and have so many friends to connect with that there’s never time to see everyone. It always feel like a homecoming. It’s also nice to just go to church like a normal Christian, and just enjoy taking it all in and worshiping (although I LOVE every opportunity I get to teach).

In addition to the great conversations we’ve had so far, one of the most rewarding things we get to see are students that we’ve invested years of ministry into, who are now plugged in and serving as well! I can’t tell you how many of my former middle school and high school students I’ve talked with who are now worship leaders, youth group leaders, discipleship group leaders, kids ministry volunteers, and so much more! I immediately thought of John’s words in 3 John 4…

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Although they’re not my physical children, many of them are my spiritual children. Many of them came to the Lord and grew closer to the Lord in the youth group I ran. Not that I get the credit for it – it’s all the Lord. But it’s amazing to see the fruit of my labor in the lives of these young Christians! John rejoiced to hear that those he had invested in were still going strong, and so do I.

I love talking with students who, years ago, I couldn’t tell if they were even listening to anything I was saying, but now are whole-heartedly serving the Lord! It makes it all worth it. It’s the fruit of our labor. It’s humbling to think that God used me in even one person’s life to spur them on to follow Christ even harder.

Be encouraged. The people you’re investing in now that may not seem to fully get it may be the next generation of pastors, worship leaders, disciple-makers, and evangelists! Keep investing. It’s worth it.