January 5, 2017
My goodness, it’s been a while since our last blog post!
As Christmas break winds down for our students and the BooneWalkers, we are getting excited for the new semester to kick off in a few weeks and jump back into defending the faith at App State and ministering to our dear new friends and students. Last semester was fantastic; we saw the blossom of new friendships and interest between like-minded people hungry for apologetics at the university, our RC student government was elected, and we had some really cool events big and small, as well as one stellar Walker Mountain Bonfire which really went down in the books as we watched a brush pile burn and the flames danced 30 feet tall…! Good times.
As we blaze this burning trail, ahem, this is all new to us as we experience the snowy season here, the shift between seasons and semesters, and learning the ropes around here as a new campus club and just being new to the area in general. We have settled into our sweet East Tennessee home comfortably and completely, and Greg has made some great connections locally as he continues to speak in churches and network in the area. It always amazes us when someone comes to us with heart ablaze ready to jump on board with us to teach and defend the historic Christian faith among university students.
It’s a different kind of mission field, that’s for sure, but it’s so needed. These young students are stepping out on their own for the first time, into a secular environment that by and large is not very Christian friendly (and am I the only one a little surprised by this? We are right in the middle of the Bible Belt yet this highly acclaimed and accredited school is very much laden with atheist and agnostic professors.) Many local churches here are very student friendly with lots of campus outreach and student friendly events. Yet we’ve also encountered locals and churches who seem slightly bothered by the growing student population and say they just want to minister to the true locals and farmers. I can’t help but wonder if many of these students feel caught in the middle and pulled in conflicting directions…
Interestingly, I have found myself at a slightly “caught in the middle” place; at our age and place in life right now, we are literally right in between the college student and the college parent. I’ve had conversations with parents and moms who I can whole heartedly relate to, as they confide in me through tears how they feel like their hearts are being ripped out as they watch their baby leave the nest. And then I have conversations with the students who share that they are longing to find their voice. Their place. Their independence in the world. And how they are striving to make their own decisions apart from their parents and they just want so desperately to be viewed and treated as a mature adult. And the thing is, I remember that feeling of yearning for independence like it was yesterday, and I remember my parents dropping me off at my first dorm room like it was yesterday. But now I’m a mom too, and I deeply and fully can relate to the protective parent who only wants to shelter and protect their pride and joy.
We thoroughly (!!!!) enjoyed our first family Christmas in our very own home for the first time. Wesley came running into our room whispering “It’s Kissmas! It’s Kissmas!” And a few days later we got to enjoy our first snow! Wesley LOVEDlovedloved sledding and we even built a tiny snowman. James can stand on his own! He has taken a step on his own, but I think he realizes he’s “faster” at crawling and more capable of keeping up with Wesley while scooting across the floor. I cherish the opportunities I get to nap with one of them; the sweet hair and peaceful face snuggled up next to mine, it’s the closest to heaven I believe I can get.
God bless you all and may we all have a blessed and happy New Year!
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 ESV