Greece Update #6

From Dr. Shaver: Now we’re getting into the “meat” of the material we’re presenting to the students. Our overall theme for the conference is examining our emotions, and we have lesson plans designed to address different aspects of our emotional life and how to deal with it in the context of our Christian life.

For the 11-13 year olds, the lesson is based on John 21:1-19, where Jesus reinstates Peter and addresses his biggest failure, the point where he denied Christ. In order to heal Peter emotionally and restore him to useful service, Jesus had to recount a time of pain and remorse. Without addressing this, Peter would not have been able to function so effectively to accomplish the Great Commission. We also brought up the concept that love is more than an emotion. Peter was emotional when he pledged to never turn away from Christ, but when the emotion of fear took over, he turned away. Love is about action and about making a firm decision with the application that we are to feed His lambs, take care of His sheep and feed His sheep. Ultimately, we are simply to follow Him.

We also used an “Emotions Wheel” to identify the core emotions behind physical responses and reactions and looked at some struggles third culture kids can face, based upon the book “I Have to Be Perfect” by Tim Sanford. We looked at some false statements that our minds can play, like records in a jukebox, when we deal with the world. It took a bit of coaxing, especially for the boys, but eventually the kids felt free to share their struggles.

As we continue on, we pray that the kids will feel more free to be candid with us and that if they are struggling in certain areas they will view our class and discussion group as a safe place where they can confide in us and in their peers.

From Mr. Gummy: Our second day of the 6-10 year old class was fabulous! Our Third Culture Kid Curriculum lesson was about identifying our emotions and how our bodies can give us clues about what we’re feeling as well as be tools to help us manage big emotions. The kids shared some big feelings and Mr. and Mrs. Gummy received the sweetest card from a little girl who drew a picture of us, complete with Mr. Gummy’s hat! In the evening, our team helped watch kiddos during a date night for a few hours, and Pastor Ken played keep-away for over half of it with a gaggle of little boys while others played cards or watched a movie. The global workers have been so thankful for the time to focus, to refresh and to be encouraged, and we are blessed to to hear some of their joys and challenges.