I am really feeling like this is where I am supposed to be lately. I have learned almost all the students’ names in a supernaturally quick amount of time. I am sure this is more God than me. I have gotten to have some really good conversations with the girls as well. There are so many quality ones.
They are going on a thing called Exodus starting tomorrow morning. The format is slightly different from school to school but it always involves roughing it in the wilderness and eating a lot of Ramen. I think it is mainly to help them bond but I am sure there is a deeper spiritual significance as well. They will be gone for three days and the experience culminates with a fancy dinner where we wash their feet. I am not the biggest fan of the act of foot washing but I like the spiritual meaning.
Last night we went to church. I like the worship there normally but last night it was not that great. The band that lead worship was not as good as the YWAM worship teams. I am not a big fan of the preaching at the church. I feel like I never come away with more than what I came with. Nevertheless, I really like the bookstore there and hanging out with my YWAM friends. I start taking students to a church next Sunday so I don’t know if I will be doing the two-church thing. Maybe. I do like that bookstore. This random girl said she had been left at the church by her friends. We took her back to our house in our van making her passenger number 20. Then Sherry and I drove her the rest of the way to where she was staying. She was living at some sort of Job placement center. She was a bit odd and told us that there was a category 3 hurricane headed straight for Maui. Don’t worry, she was full of crap. No hurricanes on their way.
Today I took some of the students to Wal-Mart. I wanted to buy a tarp to keep the rain from creating a small freshwater lake in my bed. Then I helped decorate for our opening night. We used plants from our base director’s yard to create a jungle theme. Jungle is a common theme here since it can usually be accomplished for free. We also had what can best be described as “toasted open-faced pizza sandwiches.” This is what Sherry calls them even though I think the menu refers to them as pizza buns. Sherry works in the kitchen so she had a hand in assembling these culinary masterpieces.
We had opening night tonight. This is where the students get introduced and “leied.” The leaders are introduced as well. There were a lot of people since we have two schools going on- DTS and SBFM. The DTS staff made a video to introduce themselves that was actually pretty funny. It was an Anchorman spoof. After all the introductions, we had some good praise and worship. After that we headed up to one of the houses for some snacks. I am really bad with baked goods. I always eat so many as if I will never see them again. Here at YWAM, I can almost guarantee that I will get baked goods pretty much every week. I need to learn moderation in this department.
My favorite part of the evening was the chance to play a game I call, “Blame-shifting Butt Grab.” Many of you may remember the infamous Andrew/Jocelyn graduation incident. To refresh your memory, My dad and I staged an epic scene. I pinched Emily Ray’s butt and moved to the side. My dad swooped in, held his fingers out and made a guilty face as if he had been the pincher. Emily turned around and exclaimed, “Mr.Hightower!” It was just priceless. Tonight was a good opportunity because there were a lot of people mingling in a relatively small space. I got several good grabs. I especially like making it look like a guy pinched a girl’s butt. I was pretty successful and even acquired a few spectators who would follow me around and watch my antics. Good times!
I am trying to get a basketball team together. I found out that there is a league in Kahului (the closest big town). It’s an all-women’s league. There seem to be enough interested girls. I have about four girls who are really interested and a “reserves” list of girls who made comments like, “I like basketball but I am not competitive” or “I played in the 6th grade.” I figure I can’t count on them for every game but I can call on them to play occasionally. I am very excited about this and I think it will be a great chance to get out of the YWAM bubble and meet people in the community. I hope that our attitudes and sportsmanship will be a witness to the other teams. I have a meeting to go to about it on Thursday. We are trying to think of a team name. So far our best ones are the YWAM wolverines and Born-again ballers. I want the name to show that we are Christians. I am open to suggestions. There is one frustrating thing about the prospect of getting a basketball team together. I recently found out that one of the DTS girls played four years of Division 1 basketball at the University of Minnesota. This would be great news if she did not have to go to class and be in a Bible study on the days we will be playing. Talk about a letdown! I am going to beg her leader to let her play at least once. One of my other players did get a b-ball scholarship so she will probably be my MVP.
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