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Dave Hankins - 12/5/21

Dear LOG community:

The recent LOG weekend inspired me to share some thoughts and to write a note of congratulations and encouragement. First, the congratulations. The past two years has been a challenging time for the LOG ministry, and for other ministries and churches. Although the pandemic hasn’t completely passed, you are to be congratulated for making it through the worst of the storm. It is a tremendous accomplishment that should be celebrated.

I want to especially commend the co-leaders of the past three weekends (And the next), and current senior class (Sophomores when the pandemic began) for their faithful dedication and leadership. Their generation has suffered greatly and lost so much, yet these amazing young people stepped up and served and carried on when it mattered most. They were there for LOG, and LOG was there for them. The LOG weekends during the pandemic gave them a purpose and a shelter from the storm so to speak.

I had the honor of serving during those weekends and saw firsthand the psychological trauma. You could literally see it in their faces and body language and during C-Groups. Their spirit wasn’t broken but was severely damaged. Who could blame them? It was very concerning to me. Even without my own children and being exposed to them on a daily basis, I knew if it affected these outstanding youth, then it must be extremely serious. But the co-leaders and core group of current seniors pressed on and showed up, even knowing that it would be difficult to invite participants. The numbers were small yet mighty.

However, the good news is the tide started to change this past weekend. There was a change in spirit, a revival if you will. The numbers were again small, for the team and participants, as well as a disproportionate number of seniors. But what a group of seniors! I can’t adequately express my respect and admiration for them. Theirs will be known as the pandemic generation. They have all missed a part of their childhood and been forced to grow up and mature quicker. They are stronger and wiser as a result and will no doubt be great future leaders.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my prayer and hope were that as a society we would come out of it more grateful, for the things we had before. Gratitude was evident and abundant during team meetings and the weekend, It was also a blessing to see so many boys serving on team and as participants. I recall only one boy on team for the fall, 2020 weekend. The world needs more Godly young men to step up and reverse the trend that began with the men of my generation.

Speaking of blessings and seeing so many people! The turnout for the Saturday night agape was incredible! It literally brought tears (Of joy) to my eyes. It was a reminder of the legacy and a show of support and strength in numbers from the community. It made a statement and sent a message to the team and participants that “we care” about LOG and we are behind you! I know that many of you came to celebrate and thank Terry for his service to LOG and to wish him well. But it was also a time to welcome Ethan as he begins his ministry with LOG. To make it through the pandemic and a change in leadership is remarkable.

And now the encouragement. Taking over for an icon and the founder of the ministry is not easy and no small task. Ethan represents an opportunity to continue what Terry started as well as a new beginning to the future. The word that comes to mind is revival. Not so much in terms of revive or restore something that was lost or dormant, but a revival of spirit, as found in the scripture verse from Psalm 85:6, “Oh God, Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?”

The events of the recent weekend exemplify the spirit of the Psalm and shows that LOG is in revival. Now it is important to continue the momentum. The foundational principal of Christianity to is spread the Good News of the Gospel and share what we have been given with others. As all of you in the community know from experience, it is the same with LOG. Most likely someone had an amazing experience at a LOG weekend and then passed it on by inviting you as a participant. It is imperative now for LOG to grow. Ethan cannot do it by himself. We must all help spread the good news and get the word out to the community at large.

Thank you and God bless!


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