I'm still pretty fuzzy due to jet lag (my clock tells me it 8:15pm Saturday night, my body is telling me 12:15pm Sunday...), but I wanted to write a post that gave a bookend to my time at Faith Academy this past week.
The photos here are the group of amazing young ladies I lived with during the week. Though I fell in love with the entire student body, I logged more time with these girls than any others... from Starbucks runs to meals shared to laughing at Facebook photos to lovely "family" discussions about the topics of Spiritual Enrichment Week (because they wanted to meet and talk more), I delighted in every moment with them. Even the 4am surprise invasion to my room the morning of my departure was fun for me, just because of who they became to me during the week.
Perhaps it's not a surprise to some, but what was so wonderful to discover this week was that that these "MK's" (missionary kids) are just like the other high school students I've known all these years ~ full of energy, sensitivity, big ideas, curiosity, shenanigans, short attention spans, crushes, stress and a dizzying mixture of excitement and terror about the future. Our week together confirmed to me yet again that I really love talking about real life and faith with young adults. As long as I listen carefully, ask many questions, be willing to bounce from topic to topic in no time flat, and stay up late, they are generous with their honesty and friendship.
Know that while they are "typical teenagers," Faith students are also fearfully and wonderfully made. Rarely have I met youth who speak so many languages and know how to behead a chicken (long story, but this is a common experience for many of them....)! They have had some incredible experiences while living abroad with their parents in service to Christ. I especially learned so much in seeing the new "face" of missions, as it is truly becoming an international enterprise. With the Christian church growing more in countries like Korea and Brazil than in the US, the diversity of the student body at Faith Academy will continue to shift and expand. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do there as He invites Faith students and staff to learn how to do missions right where they live, let alone all around Asia.
As I told them more than once this week, my greatest hope is that they themselves would desire to speak the stunning and simple prayer of Paul in Philippians 3:10,
I want to know Christ...Well done Faith Academy. You were hospitable, hilarious and full of hope. Praise the Lord. Keep asking questions and persistently looking for the best answers. See you again someday.