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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Perfect Timing - A Conversation with Brian

Tonight I returned home from an incredible week of ministry through speaking at a bunch of different places in the Hudson Valley region of NY. It's my old stomping grounds and I had a great time speaking in several churches, a retreat, and a youth group.

In seven days I had 12 speaking engagements, so it was truly a whirlwind tour, but wow what an awesome time I had interacting with everyone.

Each group had its own unique special qualities, and each group was so encouraging to be a part of.

I think at each stop along the way I received more of a blessing than I was able to give, as people young and old responded to God's Word and the vision of what YMI is all about, and what we're doing worldwide!

One of the encounters I had this week, that I will not soon forget was a face to face sit down conversation with one of the most amazing guys I've ever met! This guy has had such an incredible ministry of encouragement over the years that every time I'm with him I leave a richer, deeper, better person in the Lord because of our time together.

His name is Brian and besides being one of the most spiritually in tune people that I know, a regular prayer warrior, and an unbelievable truth giver, He also has Autism, Tourette Syndrome and OCD.

He can't communicate through spoken word, but when He sits down at his Dynavox machine, and his mother holds his wrist to calm his movements, and he begins to peck with his pointer letter after letter to form the sentences He needs to deliver...I stop and listen, and listen good!

When I started as Student Ministries Pastor at my former church, Brian asked if he could sit down with me and talk about getting involved in the youth ministry in some way. So he and his mom and I got together and with her help he communicated to me that he had a passion for young people and wanted to serve in some way but with his issues wasn't sure how he could be used.

Well, it didn't take long and we realized that not only could this self taught genius, type...he would type deep, lyrically challenging and soul stirring prayers to God in the form of poems. They were absolutely stunning masterpieces that God used to challenge, inspire, convict and basically pierce the hearts of those who heard them.

So I asked Brian if His ministry would be to write a prayer that we would open up our weekly student worship service with, and get us in the right frame of mind and spirit to enter into the time with God each week.

He agreed and we embarked on an incredible run of prayers, and poems that God used to touch the hearts of many students and adults through the years.

I quickly learned that when Brian had a word, it had depth and meaning and usually was the exact thing I needed to hear. Being around Brian reminded me of the slogan from the old EF Hutton commercials that said "When EF Hutton Speaks People listen", that was so true of him then and is still so true of Him today.

God used him to speak truth, encouragement and discerning words into the lives of many people then and now...not bad for a guy that many had written off when he was younger.

So when I got a message from Brian's mom that He wanted to sit down and talk through his machine, I said "absolutely", and we set the time and day.

You see it's interesting as I reflect on my many talks with Brian over the years, it seems like at almost every major junction of my ministry life over the past 10 years since I met him, Brian has delivered a message of some sort that was dead on with what I was dealing with and what I had been praying about. Looking back on it God used his words in my life at the exact moment I needed them time and time again.

In 2004 when my world was spinning around and around, and all kinds of questions and doubts were going on, I sat down with Brian, and he encouraged me so much.

Right before I left to go to Ukraine for the first time we sat together and he basically said to me that this trip was going to stretch me like I have never been stretched before and was going to change everything in ministry for me...As usual he was right on!

I've written about that fateful year in the article called "Do You Trust Me?" and behind the scenes in many of those situations I had Brian seeking God on my behalf and then at just the right time interjecting truth and encouragement through a machine that delivered the thoughts from the depths of his soul.

Well, as many of you know this current mission journey that I'm on has been an awesome ride that has been filled with many highs as well as many lows. These have been the most faith stretching times my family and I have ever experienced! For those who have followed my writings this past year and a half you have probably picked up on some of that through the words I've written.

Several times along the way I've been hit with some discouraging moments that have caused me to contemplate, and question whether I'm doing the right thing. The article "No AC, No FM & No Regrets" as well as "Do You Trust Me?" were written right in the middle of some of those times. So as I sat with Brian, wondering what He had to deliver this time, I was again absolutely stunned at what he typed.

In a few short sentences that took over an hour of painstaking, keystrokes accompanied with loud outbursts from the Tourette Syndrome, he gave me exactly what I needed to hear and once again at a major juncture in my ministry life, God used him to speak direction and encouragement to my often wondering and wandering heart...here was our conversation, printed from his dynavox by his mom.
A message of Hope and Power from a servant of God at the perfect time...

My Conversation with Brian...
Friday October 10, 2008 Brent, Bob, and Brian Young (Mom facilitator)
(Comments in parentheses are Mom's notations)

"I just want to thank you both for praying for me. I have been in the desert again. I don't always like it there. But I know God is with me. I do not like going
through these tumultuous times. God says I have to keep on "trucking".

You guys are so good for me. I miss our times at church. I miss my dad,too. I
know he is doing fine, though. I got to tell him how much God is going to do for
me when I get there. I told him I would be able to speak and sing, and walk and
run without pain.

I am only being what God wants me to be when I type. The autism is getting
the better of me when I don't type. I am sorry I am being so noisy. It is the
Tourette's (Syndrome) that rears its ugly head. I am thinking one thing and the
noises and words just pop out.

(We talked about an autistic young man from Rochester, who made
all the news
when he was allowed to play basketball for the 1st time in his Senior year for
the last 2 minutes in the final game of the year; and he scored 20 points in
that time!)

Yes, I heard about him. There are many like him. (With those kind of gifts)
But I am called to write. I am just so glad to be here. Only I miss being here
in the daytime.

I am just tired now......I want to deliver a message. (Meaning he has a word
from God to tell someone)

I need to let Brent know God has His hand upon his heart. I know of your
feelings of inadequacies. I know of your feelings of leaving your family alone.
I am with you and your family in every single step you take. I have a great
many things planned for you. People are in desparate need of me and you are
chosen by me to touch them. I am your author and your finisher AND you
know this! I am using you to make this confusing world a better place.

The Lord is your heart, soul and mind. I am the Balm for your concerns.
I am the Grace that seals your family. I am the Mercy that comforts you.
I am your God. I am your Salvation. I am Jehovah Jireh. It is My will that
you follow. I am so very pleased with your walk. I AM YOUR GOD."
One of the things I've been wrestling with alot over the past year and a half of support raising is the fine line between stepping out in faith that God will provide the needed funds to continue this ministry and being responsible for providing for my family. As many of you know this has been a constant concern of ours for many months now as we are still underfunded.

One of the things I've been seeking God about is if I should continue this missionary journey and continue to trust Him that the funds would come in, or look at other alternatives. So, when Brian mentioned that God is my "Jehovah Jireh" I almost fell out of my chair. Jehovah Jireh is a name for God that highlights the fact that He is my Provider!

I don't know where the funds are going to come from, as we are obviously in the midst of some trying economic times, but I believe that God will provide. He has done amazing things to this point, and my prayer is that He will lay it on the hearts of some individuals, churches, and groups in such a way that they will join our passionately committed team of supporters and help our ministry get over the top financially so we can continue to train trainers in youth ministry worldwide!
I am so blessed to have Brian praying for me, and using his gifts for God like he does. My prayer is that each of us would listen to the words that Brian typed because they sure do apply to us all, especially the closing declaration "I AM YOUR GOD!"

Thank you God, for having a plan and choosing to use us to implement that plan. Help us all to realize that in the midst of our confusing times, you are always dead on with your message of truth! Thank you for using your servant Brian to hammer it home in my life, as usual at JUST THE RIGHT TIME!