Posted in Chaplaincy
As Joshua looks back on his life, the impact of one person stands out. His chaplain.
Joshua Palfi (pictured, left) is now 26 years old, engaged, manages a construction business, and has two beautiful children of his own.
Today Joshua realises the incredible impact his school chaplain has had on his life. Joshua was motivated to track down Chaplain Jason (pictured, right) to say thank you.
“Josh explained that he had tracked me down by first ringing my old church in Toowoomba where they informed him that I had moved to Brisbane. Then he continued to follow the links until he was able to contact my current school to get in touch,” says Chaplain Jason.
Joshua shares why he was so eager to reconnect.
“Whilst at school I realise I took it for granted. The Chappy Room was a place to hang out. To interact with others and a safe place for other students who were struggling socially,” says Joshua.
“Jason made school better for me, he was a role model, a solid rock.
“If anything went wrong in the schoolyard, or you had a bad weekend, he always had a way to get around it, solid advice.
“Jason was never bias, didn’t pick out kids, served everyone, cool kids, kids that would have never hung out together. He created diversity, really split up the groups of the schools. It didn’t matter who you were as, once in the Chappy Room, you were equal. This fed into changing perspectives throughout the whole schoolyard community.
“He also in his own time took us to church and provided us with the opportunity to be close to God, if we wanted to. I walked away not getting a lot of what Jason was offering.
“In the last year or so I have realised and reflected on the seed that was planted in my life,” says Joshua.
Joshua first met Jason in Grade 9.
“In Grade 11 and 12 I distanced myself and started doing my own thing, but we still caught up. Then after school I went off the radar. In Year 11/12 I got into drugs, and went through my rough patch. This continued after school.
“This year I was reading Scripture about the sowing of the seed. It made me remember Jason. He started me on my journey of finding God. It made me have gratitude for everything he had done and I wanted to thank him.
“Every match you strike lights a fire. The seed planted by Jason is growing in me, in my wife, in my kids.”
“At school, kids are in transition. They’re dealing with so much, trying to make the right choices, or justify the wrong choices. So when you’re planting seeds — just being there and caring for them — you might never know the impact you are having.
“My story is one where you can look from the other side. A lasting impression through the crucial years can change someone’s life. It changed mine. This is what Jason did for me,” says Joshua.
Joshua and Jason were able to meet up for the first time in 10 years to share old school memories.
“Too often we wonder what difference we are making as chaplains and we would all love to have more opportunities to hear from past students,” says Jason.
Jason continues to positively impact children and young people today as the chaplain at Craigslea State High School.
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