Conrad says Good-bye
Well, this is a bittersweet moment in my walk as a Christian, a husband, and a professional. I am taking the next step in my career, but I will miss being part of such an active and joyous group of Christian people. I came in at the end of 2016 and I remember feeling so intimidated about stepping into the position of youth leader. But kids and the parents were so warm and receptive to me and my family and I couldn’t stop just coming back week after week. I’ve been so fortunate to call so many of you my friends.
As I reflect back on the last couple of years, a few memories come to mind that I’d like to share. Shortly after starting, the kids and I came up with the idea of carving pumpkins for a fall celebration. Now, I’m a bit of a troublemaker and with my background in construction I thought it would be fun to mix power tools and pumpkin carving. No one was injured, no pumpkin survived, and every year since, we’ve done a group pumpkin carving called “X-Treme Punkin Carvin”.
This last summer we took a trip to Camp Anderson in Old Town Florida and 5 of them even asked me to baptize them. That was an honor beyond almost anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s one thing when your own child wants you to be their mentor, these kids had a choice and they chose me. On the flip side, they also shot me with paintball guns, hit me with water balloons, outshot me at every sharpshooter contest, flipped me off an inflatable in the middle of an alligator infested river, and kept me from getting sleep for 5 days straight. I, however, choose to believe it was all out of love.
When we executed the Grandparents Gone Wired event in March I was genuinely concerned about having enough volunteers to cover all the tables. As teenagers usually do, no one told me whether they would be there until the moment they walked through the door. We had 15 kids total who showed up and participated simply because I asked them to and it meant the world to me. I got to be part of bridging a generational gap at VPC, but they made it happen.
These are just a few of the memories I will take with me when I go and do not include any of the countless Sundays and weekdays that my team made it happen in the AV booth and beyond. I am so thankful for what has been given to me and my family over the last 3 years and I ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers as we will all of you. Thank you again for these wonderful years.
Conrad S. Knepp