Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The concept of progression is important as we build students to understand cultures and impact the world. Starting with middle school, we try to progress students in both culture and physical proximity as they get older. The year between 9th and 10th grade has historically been a bit of a challenge for us.

It is an important year because we want to focus teams on something close and something that gives students experience in serving and sharing in their own culture. The best preparation for going to serve in another culture is experience serving in your own culture first. And this helps us build students that care for both their own communities as well as lands far away.

In 2005, we had the bright idea of building a once-a-week-for-six-weeks serving day. The idea was that every Friday for 6 weeks, teams would go in and serve with various ministries in and around Washington DC. [DC remains one of our strategic centers even though we didn't send a team this year because ...uh, it is just plain strategic.] The idea was good and a bit audacious but we couldn't implement it - we didn't have the leadership infrastructure to support it. We did end up doing one single day that summer and I still think it could work in the future with the right leadership involved.

In 2006, we sent this same year of students to the Merge conference, which had been morphed from SEMP, put on by Sonlife. SEMP really had most of the elements we were looking for - local, a lot of training and experiences based on sharing in your own culture, and an ethos focused on the outsider. Unfortunately, Merge was a bit different. Probably still a good experience for students, just not fitting exactly what we needed.

This year, we finally scored. Chain Reaction helped our team serve locally, blessing strangers, and unashamedly stretch students. Props to Matt and Jeremy for shaping the future via our team.

Photo: Jeremy with some of our team, Baltimore Inner Harbor

DC Eclipse 2005
Jeremy's photoset

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