It is 8:40 in the morning, day four of our excursion. I've noticed quite a lot of differences between ministering to the high schoolers here and the middle schoolers back home. A lot of it just goes with the differences between middle and high school. I'm not sure if the rest is cultural, significant to only army brats or what. One difference is that there is no defiance here. The students are always happy to comply and you never have to tell them anything twice. The staff here equates that to the fact that they are the student leaders. Anothere difference is that there is no need to probe the students to open up. None of them are shy and they aren't afraid to let you know who they are. As I've watched them interact I've noticed that they have formed a bond, but it doesn't look to run very deep. This is just my assumption, its hard to say with much accuracy without really knowing them. My guess is that with moves every two to four years it would be difficult saying goodbye if you have connected with them at that deep of a level.
Today is the last day of the retreat. Every part of this weekend has really come together. The highlight has to be Saturday's chapel. Rob, our youth min teacher, spoke about forgiveness. He opened with a clip from Lost, so you knew it was going to be good. The clip highlighted Sawyer and the letter he has carried around with him since he was a child. In the letter he writes to the man who killed his parents. He promises to find him and kill him. Rob then shared about what had happened to him and his parents' death in an auto accident. He then pulled out a letter of his own, written to the man who killed his parents. Rob read his letter to the group. He wrote that he hopes to find this man so that he will know that he has been forgiven by both Rob and God. Rob then invited the group to work out the issues that they have been holding on to and to work on being able to forgive themselves.