Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Teenagers, life events and disaster relief

Working with teenagers keeps me grounded.

Last week I wore one of my favorite shirts ever to youth group.  It's a grey, long sleeve t-shirt and simply says "Pearlington, Mississippi" on the front.  The back has the names of people who helped our team go to Mississippi that time for Hurricane Katrina Relief work.  I don't even remember what year or which number of the 12 trips it was.

One of young women looked at my t-shirt and asked "Where's Pearlington, Mississippi?"

I told her where it was and why I had been there and she looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and said "When was Hurricane Katrina?"

"2005," I replied.

"Oh, yeah, I was 5," was her response.

One of the other leaders looked at me and said with a touch of incredulity in his voice, "She was a year old when September 11th happened."  We both took a moment to ponder that.

Time marches steadily on.  There isn't anything I can do to stop the steady movement. There are days when I look at the number I am supposed to claim as my age and wonder how those years passed so quickly. I don't FEEL like the number I'm supposed to claim as my age.  Do you know how OLD that number seemed when I was a teenager?!

Time marches on and world and life events happen.  There are events, such as September 11th or Hurricane Katrina that will forever be etched in my brain.  Those events changed my world outlook.  They changed ME...and many of the students that I work with these days weren't even old enough to understand. They will have their own BIG life and world changing moments. It's just the way the world works.

Time marches on.  This April it will be 8 years since I first set foot in the town of Pearlington, Mississippi.  It's been over a year since I was last there.  I hope to get back there again.  This time for vacation, not Hurricane relief work.  But if something happens and the call comes again, I'll go in a heartbeat!

In 3 days I will board a plane with some of my teenager friends (33 of them to be exact) and head to Moore, Oklahoma.  Time does march on, life does change and teenagers really do keep me grounded...and in case you were wondering, I am taking my favorite long sleeve t-shirt with me.

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