Playing Cribbage in Jesus’ Name

“We need your help, please. If you know how to play crib, come to our youth group on Thursday evening and offer us practical experience. Then our youth group can return to the Seed and play crib in Jesus’ name.”

Rick Mast, youth pastor at West End Christian Reformed Church, made that appeal to the congregation recently. “The Seed” is the Mustard Seed, a nonprofit Christian organization that responds to the needs of people in Edmonton’s inner city.

Many in West End’s youth group were out of their comfort zone when they initially ventured out to the Mustard Seed. But a Mustard Seed coordinator noticed their engagement and told them he had a dream of organizing a cribbage tournament. He asked if they might be interested in participating. The young people committed themselves, but first they had to learn how to play crib.

Eighteen adults showed up at youth group that Thursday evening to teach 28 young people how to play. “We had no idea that this little dream of the Mustard Seed would have spawned such a tremendous response,” Mast exclaimed. “So many people came to teach, learn, and play cribbage at youth group, I couldn’t believe it.”

Jamie Dykstra, 19, is one of the leaders of the junior/senior high youth group this year. She considered herself fortunate at the tournament to be paired up with a very outgoing, happy, and competitive community member. “We managed to progress quite far in the tournament, which meant that we played against a lot of the other community members,” she explained.

“Overall, I would say it was a huge success,” reflected Dykstra. “We all got to meet new people and have a fun night playing crib. It was great to see the youth interact with the people at the Mustard Seed and to see how much genuine joy it brought the community. Having the game of crib being the icebreaker made it easier for people to let down any walls and just have a good time enjoying each other’s company. I would say that we not only made an impact on the community, but our hearts were touched as well by the people who blessed us by sharing about their lives.”

About the Author

Janet A. Greidanus is the Banner’s regional news correspondent for classes Alberta North and Alberta South/Saskatchewan.

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