Sunday, September 18, 2016

First time away

Joyce Sasse - Big changes happen in the lives of rural students when they leave for University.

During my first Pastorate the congregation funded me to make a fall visit with students from our region attending first year University. Over supper we talked about how their ‘digs’ were, and what was happening with their studies and the rest of their lives.
The message was that the home-folks cared about them, and everyone would be glad to see them at Christmas.

The students in the Regina and Saskatoon gatherings seemed to appreciate the occasion. But four boys attending the Technical Institute in Moose Jaw had their own agenda.

They arrived at the Dining Room in suits and ties. “Please show us the right way to do things so we can bring our girlfriend to a place like this” they asked, “and don’t waste time talking things through. Show us what to do.”

I felt a bit like a mother hen as I discussed the menu with the waitress, ordered for myself, offered a thanksgiving prayer, reached for the appropriate table-ware and hosted our group. They were so cool! By the end of the evening we had bonded and were so happy to see each other at Christmas.

Because the story goes back 50 years, we may think our young people are more sophisticated – but expressions of care are always appreciated. Today chaplains at our various educational institutions invite us to support their student food banks, send care packages for study week and keep their chaplaincy funded so they can act on our behalf.

While we are at home our roots are nurtured. But it takes time to learn to use our wings. In the in-between-times, how wonderful to be reminded God loves us and so do the folks from home.

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