Another year, another piece of pizza....
That's what it looked like on Friday during our outing to Pizza Ranch. The students celebrated the end of a hard-working week at Erdkinder and the birthdays of three of their classmates: Ben, Sarah, and Matthew O. Not only was this a time of fellowship and community, but the adolescents were able to witness their grace and courtesy to the staff at Pizza Ranch, and witness their faith by standing up and praying together before the meal.
Near the end of our lunch, there was a time of stories where parents and students shared funny, embarrassing, or sweet stories about Ben, Matthew, and Sarah. We all went around and told them what we were grateful for about them and shared many laughs and jokes as we exited the restaurant.
I was reflecting on why we do this in the adolescent community on my way home on Friday afternoon - yes, it is important to celebrate each student, and yes, the teenager years present a whole new phase that needs to be welcomed and hurrahed. But what I saw as we left Pizza Ranch was community, joy and friendship. I saw joy in celebrating the other and forgetting about themselves. I saw unity in their interactions, joking, laughing, and giggling during our group picture. This is a witness - to other schools where the norm is bullying, sarcasm, and swearing. To other teenagers who may spend their time in less reputable fashions. To the secular culture at large who are unable to put down their phones to actually interact and be present to each other in relationship. What a beautiful way to send these students into years of turmoil, change, and intensity. What a beautiful community of students to have for the 2018-19 school year. God is so truly good.