As usual, the students waited till the last minute to turn in their applications. We set a deadline and then charge a late fee until the absolute latest date, so, of course, most of the new freshmen paid a late fee.
This year as I went through the applications I was struck with a deep sadness as I read story after story of rejection, neglect, suicidal attempts or thoughts, and self hatred. I was close to tears after reading one prospective student’s autobiography in particular. Most of these young people have known deep hurt. Most have experimented with alcohol and several with drugs. Several have raised themselves. At least one moved from home to home when his own family became so dysfunctional that he couldn’t stay there any more.
Yesterday during orientation, as I stood before the ten newly accepted students I became even more convinced that this group has great potential for ministry to other young men and women who are hurting. I introduced them to the idea of Christian Service Assignments and sought to light a fire in their hearts about the opportunities they would have to live out their faith by ministering in the years to come. I pray that we would be able to connect them with people and put them in places where their unique backgrounds, experience, and giftings will be used to great effect to bring others to Jesus and to build other believers up.
Thank you so much for your prayers. Our campus is beautiful, thanks to the work of the many work crews who donated their time, energy, and money this summer. The returning students have been properly impressed with the changes, including green grass , new sidewalks, new lines on the basketball court, repainted offices, and many other upgrades. Many of the concerns brought up by the returning students last semester have been addressed.
Our staff retreat went well, though it seemed hurried and short. There is always too much to do. Classes begin tomorrow (yes, I know it is Labor Day! What better day to labor, then!). Please keep praying that we would be successful in convincing the students of their potential to be used of God, that we would be able to help direct them to people and ministries where they would be effective, that they would stand firm in the faith, and that we would be mightily used of God to mentor these “warriors” for Christ.
I will be teaching Introduction to Christian Education, Study Habits, Piano, Guitar, and maybe Voice this term. I will have a new group of young women to mentor as well.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers and financial support! God bless you, my faithful partners in ministry.