Last week I stood in front of my Christian Family class and asked: “How was the experience of writing this paper?” The responses were fairly consistent: “painful”, “hard”, “it made me angry”, and even “I was too angry to even complete it”. The paper being referred to is the “Family of Origin” paper, in which the student evaluates their upbringing and the impact it has on them today. Every year I cry my way through the grading of these papers, so overwhelmed am I by the brokenness and pain our students have endured. The abuse, abandonment, and hopelessness of most of these “families of origin” are overwhelmingly oppressive.
But there is HOPE! The students also responded to the question with “helpful”, “healing”, and so on. I am amazed as every year I watch the Holy Spirit use this class to bring a deep healing in everyone who engages. As we talk about God’s design for Christian singleness, marriage, and parenting the students see and embrace truth that no one has ever helped them grasp before. The 15 freshmen students I have from 8:00-10:00AM Tuesdays-Thursdays during this five-week term are telling of tremendous learning, help, and growth in their personal lives. This is a class someone “will have to pry from my cold, dead fingers”, as it is an annual exercise in the agony of helping students face past pain and in the ecstasy of healed hearts and changed lives. Thursday is the last day of class, when we host the whole group at our house; we feed them breakfast, hear verbal feedback, and their “final exam” is to let me wash their feet (AKA John 13) as a vivid reminder that all of godly singleness, marriage, and parenting boils down to servanthood (placing the needs of others above our own).
You should be receiving the Spring newsletter in the mail any day now; it is full of lots of exciting info. It is on our website (in color) here.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support–we couldn’t serve here without you!
Jason and family