I pulled up at the school. Stuff, lots of stuff, was strewn everywhere. Kids were collapsed on the ground amidst all that stuff, in an odd assortment of positions. They were tired.
And I was glad.
Two days prior, they'd left immediately after school, headed for the bush - an outreach trip with children's programs and activities to encourage a local church. The kids took care of all planning - logistics, food, activities, games, crafts. My big girl was responsible for planning, organizing, budgeting, shopping, preparing meals... the all important food side of the equation for twelve. My big boy functioned as the treasurer - collecting and distributing money as well as translating/preparing skits, teachings and other activities for twenty or thirty. I was impressed with their youth pastor who organized and trusted them to do this, adult chaperones willing to drive and entrust their weekend to a bunch of teens' organization, the wisdom exhibited by those teens, their planning, and especially their maturity. I mean, really... a bunch of high schoolers handling all of this? A bunch of high schoolers willing, even wanting, to?!!
Friday afternoon, I waitied with them for awhile while they prepared to leave, and I was nervous. It was Rebekah's first trip in a long time and I feel like I'm holding my breath the whole time she's away - what with her asthma and allergies and the lack of access to medical care. They were heading outside of the security of town and the anonymity of lots of people in a part of the world that has not necessarily been known for its security in recent months. The house seemed empty and too quiet without her chatter and his fluting those three days.
So I was delighted to see those tired teens on Sunday afternoon - exhausted and totally wiped out, dirty and smelling of dust, all looking as thought they had a bad case of bed-head, but excited about what God had accomplished in and through them. Yes, they were tired... but listening to their weary, eager chatterings of how they saw God work that weekend totally energized this mama's heart.
(Photos graciously shared by my friend and colleague this year, Jessica Neff.
You can be sure more photos of this trip will be coming.)