Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our Kids (part 3?)

Today was "Senior Sunday" at church, the weekend where our graduating high school seniors take over the mainstage service, sharing from their hearts about how God has worked in their lives. It's one of my favorite weekends of the year, and I usually end up all emotional. I mean, these are our kids. I'm so proud of them! This year we had about 30 kids graduating. Here are some of my highlights:

This is Jenny. She's actually not a senior, she's a sophomore. But Tuesday night we had our every-two-year (is that biannual?) Purity Ring Ceremony, where we give kids the chance to pledge abstinence until marriage and provide a support system to help them stick to that commitment. Jenny's parents couldn't make it, but she calls me her 2nd mom, and I was proud to give her her ring. It has been such a blessing to be a part of her story!

This is Whitney. She was my TA at school last year, and then I kept running into her in the grocery store, and last summer she finally came and checked out our youth group. Since then, I've been able to mentor her, and I'm so excited to see how much she's grown!

Ryana's the one in the middle. After mentoring her older sister for two years, I then was blessed to mentor her for the last three years or so. This girl is a stud muffin! I'm talking about full-IB/AP course load (and like a 4.7 overall GPA!!!) plus Varsity Volleyball plus volunteer in countless ministries around church plus an amazing heart for telling people about God's love and compassion for those in need. I'm supposed to be mentoring her, but she regularly challenges me!

This is Matt. I still remember when he was an annoying 6th grader that used to drive me crazy! Now he has a sense of humor that cracks me up, and a maturity beyond his years.

This is Trevor. Another stud. We're talking spiritual disciplines that would put the best of us to shame. I wish I could recount all of his stories here. The crazy thing is this time last year, he was MIA...He'd taken a several year break from his faith, only to realize that life wasn't nearly as satisfying without God. I am so glad he's back...and oh boy! is he back!! Watch out world!

Here are Ryan, Orin, and Trevor doing a cool beat-box rendition of one of my favorite worship songs, "Lead Me To the Cross"

There are so many other cool kids and cool stories, but I forgot my camera during one of the services and the other shots came out too blurry. Oh well. What a pleasure it is to be able to pour into these kids' lives. It hasn't been without a fair share of frustrations and heartache and struggles, but on a day like today, I'm blown away by the amazing, encouraging parts.

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