Photo courtesy of Otoniel Suero

Mid-year conference brings all IVEPers together for fun, learning and building friendships. Here are l to r Sophiya Dulal (Nepal), Maria Saucedo (Bolivia), Otoniel Suero (Dominican Republic), Suyeon Kang and EunJi Ryu (both from South Korea) at the International Worship Festival, North Leamington United Mennonite Church, Ontario

I’ve been thinking about friendship recently and how one makes friends based on connections. There are work connections, church connections, shared interest connections and sometimes random meeting connections. It’s easy to meet people and say in passing, “let’s hang out sometime,” but actually connecting and sustaining a friendship is a different thing. Reaching out to make connections takes time and energy. Planning an activity takes time and energy. Getting to the place and figuring out cost of the meal or coffee or entrance fee takes time and money. There are plenty of reasons why it’s easier to push it off another week or month and get around it to sometime later. But, what are we missing in life by having less meaningful connections? I recently watched an interview about millennials and one of the challenges of the generation is finding deep and meaningful connections. It's all too easy to stay on the surface of social media, quick texts and portraying our lives as abundantly exciting instead of realizing the nitty-gritty of true and deep relationships. The next time I meet someone and say, “let’s hang out,” I want to truly set a date to hang out and invest my time in starting a friendship.