The crew at Atlanta K-Life are really doing a great job connecting with teenagers, and helping students have a safe place to explore their spiritual journey. High Props to my new friends Dustin and Addie. You guys are doing a GREAT job. Keep up the good work.
Of course I had to go over and see my friends at Fellowship Christian School in Roswell, GA. Joey, Ari, and Tripp; you guys are a blessing to be around. Thanks for welcoming me when I come knocking on your door. Thanks for the Lunches, the talks about the future, and the "state of the Union" of teenagers growing up in Atlanta. I really appreciate all your time, and look forward to many more times together.
Then I had an incredible opportunity to make some new friends over at Dominion Christian School. My new friend Chuck and I had a chance to hang out before chapel, and then talk about what's going on with high school students from his perspective. I'm always impressed at the diligence these guys are putting in to give students a place to explore, learn, and navigate through high school outside the "norm." Thanks Chuck.
After I spoke at their chapel, I stood around with five students talking about my new book ALONE. When I mentioned "The Biggest Problem in the Teenage Generation is Loneliness" they came up and talked about how they felt. It was AMAZING. We started talking about suicide among teenagers, and they all admitted they had suicidal thoughts before because they thought they were all alone in life. They told me they never thought about actually taking action, but they convinced me once again, This Message of Loneliness is one we HAVE TO start talking about with teenagers. We have to give them outlets to express the loneliness they feel, even though they have friends all around them. Thanks Chuck. Thanks to the Dominion Students. I'm honored you'd have me.
After Dominion, I drove down to Athens Christian School in Athens Georgia. I forgot Atlanta was full of morning rush hour traffic, and ended up walking straight from the parking lot to the gym where the students were already in Chapel.
Just like the other schools, the kids were super welcoming, the staff was more than kind, and after we were done I spent some time talking with the principal about the issues they deal with all around Athens. Being a University Town of 100K people they had some unique challenges in the education system, and they're working hard to provide quality Christian Education to the community down there. Once again, I'm thankful for my time and I'm thankful for their hospitality while I was there.
And finally I wound up at Westminster Christian Academy in Watkinsville, GA. Another wonderful school working to allow the conversation of Christian Education and Real World experience to flavor each class. I spent some time with the Seniors and had a chance to outline what they were going to experience at the University, and once again the topic of LONELINESS was central to the conversation. I'm thankful for my new friend Matt, Jerry, and all the crew there at Westminster. They were full of hospitality, and treated this Colorado native like family.
All in all, when people ask what I do in the season away from KIVU, that's it. I travel the country looking for places I can encourage, teach, and help partner with as we all travel down the long road of trying to make sense of our world. I find in each location, we're all just people trying to make sense of God, Education, and Faith in our own way. We're trying to apply the principles we learn throughout life, giving back at each corner of our own journey, to the students looking to follow behind us.
A Big Thank you to all my new friends in the Atlanta area. You guys are making a difference in the world that won't be realized in this life. Hundreds of students will be grounded, educated, and will have found mentors they can count on for the rest of their days.
Keep fighting the good fight.
I'm with you!!