I get one of the most unique privileges on the planet…that is to travel and share ministry with Duffy Robbins. Duffy has a youth ministry pedigree that is in the top of this world. His books and speaking ministry is global and he’s easily one of the most influential youth ministry thinkers and practitioners on the planet and the youth ministry program that he’s built at Eastern University is among the best.
But what I love about Duffy is that he’s funny, quirky, he deeply loves Jesus, travel, family, friends, adventures and laughter. We always have fun together when we travel (see adventures of Dr. Ruth as an example). We are traveling and speaking at our events together about a dozen times a year, but we just got back from Korea and I thought I’d share with you a little “behind the scenes” photo montage of Duffy Robbins.
We arrive in Korea after flying 15+ hours and get in line in front of some sort of boy scout troop… Duffy thought that was funny, but after flying that long, everything was funny:
One day we met with some of the full-time youth workers in Korea. We basically encouraged them and then did some cross-cultural learning from one another and Q/A.
It seemed as though everywhere we went there was opportunity for me to tease Duffy on doing something “wrong/offensive” to the Korean culture. Here we all put our shoes on on the ground (as is customary) except for that one pair that you see on the shelf…yep, those are Duffy’s shoes.
This was another time where we were meeting with a small group of pastors and this gentleman was making a hand gesture as he was talking and Duffy thought he was reaching to shake his hand. Duffy interrupted his hand gesture with a handshake and it was both awkward and funny. The photo below is my attempt to recreate the situation.
This is one of the funnier photos to me! Duffy and I were asked to preach in these amazing Korean churches (churches of 40-60,000 people–truly amazing). They told us to dress “business casual”. When we met in the hotel lobby on Sunday morning I said to Duffy, “You’re going to wear jeans?” He said, “I’m business above, and casual below…kind of like a mullet.”
It’s pretty public knowledge that Duffy is a very, very picky eater. I know we wrote about it in our book Speaking To Teenagers and I know Duffy talks about it regularly when he speaks. He LOVES food, but only a few foods. And he almost never eats at someone’s house because they simply can’t cook for him. Well, on this one night we didn’t have a choice. We were invited to the house of the daughter of the former President of Korea. It was a very rough night for Duffy. He didn’t eat a thing! But, our host never knew it because he masterfully moved the food around on his plate and created a lettuce barrier so she couldn’t see all that he left on his plate. It’s hard to tell, but this is his “finished” plate (below). At one point he had it hidden behind several cups.
When people have asked my about my time in Korea, I say, “It was great! But, it wouldn’t have been the same without Duffy.” He is one-of-a-kind and one of the best human beings I know…and I get the incredible joy and delight of sharing life and ministry with him.
This fall and the spring of 2012, Duffy and I are doing a new seminar called, “Building a Faith that Lasts” and it’s geared for Youth Workers AND Parents. If you’re interested in hosting it (and I can see why you wouldn’t after these photos/stories), contact us here.
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17