These are the Church for The Highlands 2019 Graduates. I am proud of the people they have become. You never really know when you meet a squirrelly 6th grader exactly how it’s gonna go down. But each has matured. And done so well.
Last night in the gym our church honored these students with a great meal and gifts. The personalized decorations were as beautiful as any Pinterest spread and it was all for love.
As we watched the slideshow of each Senior, the photos told a story of service. Dre was face painting for one of our carnivals, Robert was landscaping, Jason was painting a swing set, Shameiko was serving in Lake Providence and Chase at a block party.
The unvarnished truth is that they have shared life with us and we with them. Kyle Kelley our volunteer youth minister who nearly died in the bus accident in 2009 joined forces with FBC Shreveport to take our youth to Colorado so that they could see mountains. What an absolute picture of love that is.
Life gets messy and the youth are no exception. Each one of these children of God deals with challenges I never faced. Issues like basic transportation: most have walked to church at The Highland Center for years. That in itself is a phenomenal feat: youth getting up on a Sunday Morning and walking to church?
If the students lived too far from church to travel on foot, Kyle or David have driven the church van to pick up these kids and their families. They have made the effort to reach across pesky barriers like transportation because of the love of Christ. These actions, seemingly small, (unless you have ever done them) is an extended hand which says “come join me!”
The most beautiful sentiment shared last night was the statement of one youth to another:
“Thank you for the positive impact you’ve had on my life. You helped me become a better person and choose priorities over pleasures in life and I thank you. ”
That brought the frivolous laughter to a halt as we all took in the gravity of this eloquent compliment. Perhaps God enjoys profoundly watching the church be a place for people to find their way home. And journey there with each other.