It's interesting and enlightening to spend time with High Schoolers who are not your own. I'm on mission this week with said teens from my church. I find that time spent with these developing people makes me understand my own teens a bit better and also to have some great hope for our future. From a health standpoint, as I look at these kids, they are all in pretty good shape, they are interested in helping others (we're in far western Maryland) who are much less fortunate than they are, and they are able and willing to leave technology behind for a week to do this event. I find myself wondering why we can't do this with more kids more often - and whether this is the key to our survival as a species?
Children are exposed constantly to inputs that are secular and humanistic; it is the way of the world. It's multi-tasking and faster answers to inane questions. It's all about new and better and costlier and have's versus have nots. Yet, at times like mission trips, the better sides of themselves which are unplugged from the chatter come out. What a blessing it is! They can talk and interact and do all the things that we wonder if they've lost. All the bemoaning of a "lost generation" is overblown, at least as I look at the young people in my church.
The problem, not all of the young people that are on the rolls at my church come to mission or to Youth Group. How to increase engagement and participation? How to make it more interesting than the noise of the world? How to show the world what is happening and how it can happen? The mission is critical in saving our young people. Mission work and caring for others does in fact change the world. Thanks be to G-d!
Peace for the journey,