I've been a little late in posting this because I've been mad. We had a lot of fun at the retreat this year. The weather was cold but it didn't rain which was an answer to prayer since all our planned activities were outdoors. The boys had been after me to play basketball with them, which I always do at our retreats. I was so proud of myself - I found my ankle brace, scrounged up a pair of long socks - I thought I was ready to show these young whipper-snappers how it was done. Well, I kinda showed them...for one short game. After that it was all downhill. About three minutes into the 2nd game, I went up for a rebound, came down with a loud "pop," my knee buckled and I had to be half-carried off the court. Oh, don't worry...my ankle is fine. It was my knee. The math teacher went off in search of ice and came back with a GARBAGE BAG FULL. Yes, he is an over-achiever but that ice certainly felt good. The very same teacher brought the school van around to give me a ride to the mess hall for dinner and then drove me back to the barracks where I promptly collapsed in bed, singing the Shepherd Boy song in my head so I wouldn't hyperventilate or cry. The kids went on their merry way...playing Capture the Flag and, later, roasting marshmallows. Several stopped in my room to check on me. I had some very deep conversations with a couple of the boys. One of the girls made me a s'more...she roasted the marshmallow to perfection! Another girl took off my shoes and socks and the next morning, yet another put them back on for me. Our kids are great. They make my job worthwhile. As I was putting together this video, the faces of my students made me teary. The whole world is ahead of them. The Lord has individual plans for each one. They have hearts of compassion. They are motivated. These kids are going to be changing the world. I hope the lessons they learn while in the U.S., at Solomon, specifically in my classroom, point them toward Christ. I hope they learn to look to Him for guidance ahead of any other source. I pray the Lord gives me strength and wisdom and a sensitive heart to speak the words they need to hear in a voice they understand from a soul that loves them. As the song to the video says, I want to "Live Out Loud" in front of these teenagers God has placed in my life.
Earth Science created a map of the school grounds, designed a treasure map to go with it, traded papers with classmates and went in search of “X marks the spot.”
After a cold day outside, counting steps and retracing their paths, my kids did it! Treasures were found, map lessons learned. (Eating treasure (popcorn, pop and Skittles) while watching Lord of the Rings.)
Ok, so I know I'm strange. I know that a lot of the things I do are different. I guess I didn't know that this was strange, however. I separate my Skittles into piles before I eat them (also my Jelly Bellies and Starburst). I mean - who wants to eat a hodge-podge of flavors all at once? I like to savor them. Blue is my favorite...raspberry! Red is my least favorite...wild cherry. I don't want a red getting mixed up with a blue and destroying my enjoyment. (**Important note: these color favorites apply only to the purple Skittles bag. For most other fruit-flavored candies, I HATE yellow and green...lemon and lime. Ugh. And did you ever notice most bags are filled with yellow? Waste of my money.) So, anyway, imagine my surprise as I'm sitting at my desk, minding my own business, enjoying my snack -- when I hear giggles and snorts. I look up and my class is laughing at me. "What?" I ask. "Your piles!" they roar. Sigh. Good thing I have thick skin.
My fave prof. (who is walking a very similar path) sent me this prayer yesterday.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I know that if I do, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.