CLOSING CEREMONIES, AUGUST 6, 2017
At the end of the week our leaders give each student a word as a gift to end our trip. This year each family of students gave their leader a word. Each student received a bracelet that said “Give, Serve, Honor.”
Graham - Eager
I have seen you eager to learn, eager to grow. Eager to step back. Eager to have new experiences. I think about someone who is willing and open and makes themselves available to do it and go through whatever needs to be done and seen. I hope you continue that eagerness.
Josh H - Perseverance
I see you persevere this week. You were sick for a day but you still went for it. You kept saying, I’m doing ok even if you weren’t. You kept being positive and doing the 8 minute abs and going through the hard things and looking forward to the reward.
Braeden - Genuine
It was so quick to realize that when you talk to Braeden or interact with you people leave knowing who you are and what you stand for. You are so willing to go, this is what I think. Whether it is what people might want to hear or not. Your genuineness highlights an important strength, being genuine is really strong. You create an environment where people want to be genuine too.
Annika S - Captain
I think about a captain of a team. Someone who leads others well, makes others better. I have seen you changing the environment and atmosphere wherever you went. You create excitement, and care about the entire team feeling comfortable. When people hang out with you you set them up for success and they feel better being around you.
Abbie - X Ray Vision
If you think of what an X Ray represents it is when you do this thing that you don’t have the ability to see with your naked eye and you need an X Ray to see what’s going on. You have the ability to see what is really going on. You see the small and overlooked things. Throughout the trip I have seen you say little things and you understand the impact of those small things. You are able to see things in your friends they might not be able to see. Our family is what it is because of you.
Noelle - Freedom
When I think about you on this trip I think about how free you have been in serving and loving other people. I have seen so much growth. In worship you just go for it. I see this new found freedom to be who they are. In your freedom you give people freedom to be who they are. Your love with God, it’s showing. Freedom radiates in joy and acceptance and in being loving. You have a heart for your team and for the Haitians.
Brice - Contagious
You walk into the room and your laughter and your love and your joy fills the room and spreads so quickly. In your conversations you are so intentional and you know what everyone needs and you know what to say.
Shayla - Hug
She hugged me probably three times a day. She is open, she is affectionate. She is loving. Even though she was sick for a few days when she was serving she embraced every experience. I love how you wanted to give me a hug all the time.
Tori - River
A constant flow. With areas of depth, large areas of depth. What I love about you is how responsible you are. We were in the tap tap and we shut the door and she said, you need to lock that. She knows the details and what needs to be done. She has tenderness when she would share her heart. It was wonderful to get to know you this week.
Maya - Glue
I have a special place in my heart for Maya because she is in my small group. The word for you is glue. The way you connect friendships, all the people around you. The word I have for you is gracious. You are gracious with your eye contact, your hugs, how loving you are. You are such a special part of our group and always have something meaningful to share.
Joanna - Bridge
She is a bridge to Jesus, a bridge to truth. A bridge also carries a lot of weight — she carries the weight of her friendships and their burdens. She can give friends sound advice and be such a great friend.
Daphne - Creation
I think you are beautiful, creative and intricate. To me, every day for Daphne is a re-birth. She is constantly deciding what she is going to create: whether she is going to paint or draw. In small group she is always very honest and funny and she has a unique viewpoint. I love being in Haiti with Daphne.
Ann - Mom
We chose this word because a mother loves completely with their heart, is always giving (including candy all the time). She is always there for us and teaches us about Jesus and is everything you need in life. That is what you have been for us and we love you so so so much.
Katie - Strength
You’ve probably heard for your whole life that you are really sweet and that is true. You are so sweet to be around and so easy to be with and you have this gentle spirit.
But when we were thinking about you the word we wanted to give you is strength. You have this inner strength. You have a strength of character. You know what you believe through and through and you’ve shown a lot of strength. You have said yes to every opportunity.
Larissa - Brave
That maybe is never a word you would choose for yourself but that is why we need to tell you. Every single day you tackled a new lie or fear and just went for it. That is the stuff of life that actually takes courage and you just did it. Every challenge you set for yourself you just did it. Your generosity is also really brave. Being so giving without asking for anything else back is vulnerable and brave.
Lauren - Encourager
You are an encourager. On one level, you just say things to people about how you believe in them and what you see in them even when they don’t see it in themselves.
On another level encourage means to give courage and you do that. Even when you get feisty or worked up … when you get angry about the right things you carry people with you on a mission toward things that matter. I’ve watched you spur our team into good things. You are awesome.
Emmy - Friend
You are a soldier to lean on. You are a breath of fresh air. Every stranger that encounters Emmy has a friend. You are so loving. I could just sit next to you and listen to your commentary. You have this camaraderie with people. You are loyal and so true to the people that you hold dear and we are honored to be in that group of people.
Lizzy - Exemplary
The reason we gave you this word Lizzy is because as leaders if we saw all of our high school girls grow up and go to college and be like you are in the way you follow after God and the woman you are that would be a huge win. You are exemplary. You are never a person who has to preach or impose your view but you have given wisdom in ways you might not even know. I hope everyone has taken you in. You are beautiful and honest. You are exemplary.
Lea - Prophet
It was so fun picking your word. First we started talking about different attributes you have: kindness, you are God’s mouth piece speaking truth, you are always present, you are always there for people. We chose the word prophet because you speak truth and God is working through you and the Holy Spirit is so in you.
Emma - Pursue
We noticed this week that you are so intentional with everything you did. The conversations you had, the questions you asked and the things you did. You served with your time, you volunteered to do things and that doesn’t happen by accident you have to pursue that.
Annika C - Fighter
Something that came up for all of us was how you perceiver through circumstances and when you aren’t feeling well you are back at it. I noticed for you fighting to know the truth and fighting to know God. You want to know the truth and you are fighting for it.
Bella - Treasure
One, you are for sure a treasure to us and our community. You add so much and we love you.
Two, you are always seeking to find treasure. One thing that stuck out is the way you mentioned the single moments you had with people, or the one thing you noticed or sharing the gifts you received from God.
One of the coolest things about you is that you don’t just want that treasure for yourself but you want other people to find that treasure too.
Rob - Leader
I love this word I think it fits you so well this week. We have gotten to see you set aside your own agenda so that other people could experience Haiti super well. You have risen up in our community as someone I hope others become like. You lead in humility and servant heartedness. I love to see you lead the pack into moments of awkwardness — like when everyone was feeling strange about washing feet you weren’t afraid to dive in. You also weren’t afraid to step out or decrease so someone else can have an experience.
Josh M - Yes (and Amen)
This week in so many different ways we have seen you say yes to different experiences and different ministry opportunities whole heartedly. We have seen you say yes to worship and praying for our community. We’ve seen you say yes when asked if Jesus can heal you. We’ve seen you say yes to Jesus.
All the leaders when we thought about this thought that this week was a starting point for you.
We want to see you continue to say yes to Jesus promises, yes to where he wants to bring you.
And say Amen, which means I agree. We want you to say yes to Jesus’ promise and I agree to those promises for your life and your future.
Austin - Pursuer
When we were choosing your word we also thought about passionate, connector and deep. A pursuer has to start with a desire. It is such a privilege to have your desire for God to be so present to us. A pursuer is also driven. We have seen you point out where you see things from God that you want to share or things from God that we express to you and you tailor our time together so that we can learn in a deeper way. And you just connect with people along the way. We feel blessed and special to have that connection with you and just be real with you.
Drew - From the Students - Hypster / From the Leaders - Spirit
You kept the morale high. You were delightful to be around and have on this trip. You led us spiritually, raised the temperature in devotionals and during times of worship.