We went into the weekend as people who could barely remember each others’ names, but we left brothers.
Something about hiking over a mile, making camp together on a mountain and sleeping six guys in a fairly small tent really makes it hard to not get to know the people you’re with. Then of course, hearing a decent chunk of most of their stories definitely helps as well.
The team building activities while we were camping were definitely helpful in not only remembering names but also simply building a kind of camaraderie in being able to interact more regularly with each other instead of having the barrier there of feeling like you don’t know the person at all.
This class is full of potential. Guys coming from all over the country and some having some pretty crazy back stories drenched in God’s grace, many even having testimonies of God’s grace being evident in their struggles to reach this place. I was excited at the idea but it’s so hard to really be excited until you meet the guys and see that they are more than a concept and they are real people with real stories and real hearts for the Lord. God is going to do something crazy with these guys.
I told the guys today that they have my respect for spending 6 of their 9 months of break before university at ABIDE, and that is even more so for the guys that faced great difficulty in arriving here. I can’t get over the feeling that something big will happen this year and that God has some big plans for these guys.
Since then we’ve hiked back from camp with the guys taking turns leading one another blind-folded down mountains, through forests, over small creeks, and only with words. That definitely built deeper trust between accountability partners and even though it was funny to watch at times, it was also awesome to see them willingly allowing someone they barely know to direct them although they could not see what was ahead. That has set the stage for the lasting transformation that will happen here that can only happen through relationships.
Today was much of their orientation and included my being able to lead them in a game of “Simon Says” (which I forgot how much fun it is to watch people play) and then ended in a football (soccer) match, which was really fun! Billy (the other intern) took about 45 minutes worth of video which proves that I played quite a bit (he got tired of recording and I can’t blame him)…but the file got corrupted somehow. I really did play! No really, I did! (I’ll post a clip of the beginning of the game to prove it later)
Any who, things are going well and I’m really excited for classes starting up on Tuesday and I’m also excited to see my friend Andrew who will be around soon to visit several different sites with a ministry/organization he works with. Feel free to ask questions in the comments as I blog, I’m sure I’m forgetting to include things that you may be wondering about!
Speaking of…I have ridden on boda bodas several times now (that’s what they call motorcycle taxis) and want to learn how to ride a motorcycle when I get home. Also, I’ve had their ice cream and a drink called “coffee flavoured milk” and they’re both actually really good!