Below is a post requested by one of the adults.
Wow, what a trip! One that everyone will remember for a lifetime, I’m sure. Thanks to all the Youth bloggers for these daily posts. Allow me to add here a postlude to capture the perspectives of at least one adult member. Perhaps more might follow as others share.
I’ve watched many of these participants grow from little children, but this is my first insight into how they glow, and brightly did they shine! The compassion and love I witnessed took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to see the 7 girls sobbing their hearts out, listening with loving compassion to these homeless outcasts. They were filthy, and reeked with stench and drunkard’s breath, and yet nothing stopped the girls’ from their embrace. I’m not mistaken – such is the passion I read of Christ, and here it is for me to see with my own very eyes. I was taken surprise by a young member, although usually shy in church, he recited bible stories in our skits with precision – a consequence of his many years of reading the bible. And he goes on to waver his child-like hesitation as Pastor Brandon called out, but would later submit completely as the Holy Spirit moved him to overcome any trace of indecision. On our day at the orphanage, this HS senior in our midst carried an adorable (but rather fragile orphan girl), and as she walked around the site I was amazed at how tightly and sweetly the child rested in her arms – from where did she pick up these mothering skills? On our day at the local church, these two girls shared their testimony with the local youth group. I sank my incisors deep into my lips to wrestle down my own tears as they spoke, and as the audience listened attentively to our translator. Coincidently, I had the opportunity to experience an amazing contrast when these two girls, joined by two others, engaged in a rowdy (and for me, awkwardly uncomfortable yet funny) exchange in our van on the trip to the SD airport. Girls, I know you’d appreciate that I’m leaving the content of our lively discussion out of the books! Our boys are incredible too – the sharing we had each evening in our room was uplifting (to say the least!) and I thank you for “opening up” to share such deep feelings of yours as a group, and on our many one-on-one conversations. I can also say that for the three younger teens in my room that I too am willing to embrace you again despite your unbearable “s” as the trip went on. You know what I mean. Our teens are talented – your duet with him was the first I’ve heard of your combined voices, even better if paired with the beat of your wrist. There are many more stories, but I’ll stop here for now.
Our adult members on the trip are worth honorable mention too. She served you daily, swept the floor each morning and cleaned up after you without saying a word – be it your room, or when you walked away after those delicious meals and “forgot to clear your plates”. And need I even mention him? Imagine. Just imagine. All that time and sweat in scheduling, coordinating, organizing and planning all aspects of this trip, starting months ago. And in her moment of intense, unbearable pain, all she could think of was to relay to me not to tell the Youth, so that they would not be worried, and that their program would not be affected. And he left her, so that he could rush back to serve you. If I’m not mistaken again, here I see that Fatherly passion once more. Now imagine, how some of you acted.
What I’ve written won’t be intuitive to everyone. Merely, all I wish to say is that our teenagers are wonderful. They are not perfect, and they’ve shown their willfulness, their mistakes and wrongdoings on this trip. Us adults too. These are opportunities for growth, material for God to mold. HE is not after our perfection, but he does want our best, and I celebrate that we’ve all made that progression this past week!