Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday's Top Five: What We're Missing, Part Two

If you read last Friday’s post, you saw how much we were missing our students. Well, we haven’t moved very far from that point yet. We want them back! And we’re so excited that their return date is less than a month away!

As we thought about our students, we realized there were a couple more things to add to that list of what we miss about them. So, here you have Part Two.

1. Student interactions

Students interact with multiple groups of people on a daily basis. They interact with teachers, staff, Shepherds residents, visitors, their community, and other students. It is encouraging for us to see the students act appropriately within these various relationships and grow their friendships.

Some students lack the knowledge of acceptable social behavior when they first come to Shepherds College. They may not be able to maintain eye contact during a conversation. They may try to hug a complete stranger. They may misinterpret someone’s nonverbal communication. Now, seeing these students look people in the eye and shake their hands shows how far they’ve really come. Learning how to respond in social interactions helps our students maintain healthier relationships, and those relationships are a good indicator of the progress these students are making.

2. Taste-testing the Culinary Arts masterpieces

Here’s a major plus for having a Culinary Arts program on campus: free samples!

Now, this may seem a little self-serving to you, but we love our student’s culinary creations! Not only because they taste so delicious (and believe me, they do!), but also because they hold important value for the students. It’s something that they made all on their own. Each beautiful presentation and every encouraging compliment is a new success and adds a little bit more confidence to the students’ character. Seeing the students take satisfaction in their work makes us smile, and getting to taste the results is just an added bonus. In other words, make sure you visit us on pumpkin cheesecake day!

3. Enjoying the Horticulture students’ landscaping

The Horticulture students do a wonderful job of helping to beautify our campus and our surrounding communities. It’s quite normal to see these students digging in the dark earth and planting the gorgeous flowers and plants they have been tending to in their greenhouse. Although we are still reaping the delightful benefits of their work now, we miss seeing the students tend to their plants. It’s their tender care that helped those plants grow, so it makes us a little sad that they are not here to continue showering their beautiful projects with attention. We can’t wait to see the greenhouse full and active again!

4. The students’ prayer lives

Whether they’re asking for prayer or promising to pray for you, the Shepherds College students daily demonstrate that prayer is a major part of their lives. These students have much faith in prayer, and it excites us to see how the power of prayer has affected their relationships with Jesus Christ. Friendships also grow when the students pray for each other. Praying for someone shows that you care about them, and our students realize that.

During my week of visiting Shepherds College, I joined the students for their chapel session. The time was spent worshipping together with music. While some students were focused completely on the music, other students took the time to worship God through prayer. They were silent, focused on their conversation with their Savior. It was a moving moment and truly expressed what prayer means to these students.

5. Their joy

When the students are here and the school year is into full swing, there is so much joy on this campus. Smiles, laughter, excitement, encouragement, fun, confidence, energy: all of these contribute to this wonderful sense of joy. We miss that. We miss the life and happiness that joy brings to our classrooms, our dorms, and our offices.

So, enjoy your summer, students. And be ready to bring all of that joy back to our campus! We’ll be waiting.

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