#2: They don’t shy away from the hard things. (They talk about them appropriately, openly, and with grace)
Students have questions. It’s a fact of life. From the “why” stage of a small child, our desire to ask questions doesn’t ever fade. Whether we have the ability to ask them or not is another issue altogether.
There are hard questions that must be asked. Some are embarrassing, some aren’t politically correct. Most aren’t easy to understand, or even answer.
But we have to ask them. We have to face them, because some of the questions can chip away at our faith and even destroy it if we don’t. I had questions when I came to EQUIP Boot Camp. Hard questions.
Questions about the nature of sin. Will I actually be able to give up this sin that I both hate and love, but that has me bound? Are these thoughts coming from me, or the enemy? How do I confess?
Questions about the nature of relationships. How can I communicate with the people in my family? Do they even want me to be honest? Is it possible to be myself and earn their love?
But most of all, I had questions about God. Who is He? How does He respond? What does it all means?
EQUIP Boot Camp was the first place I felt safe to ask the hard questions.
Suicide. Abortion. Hatred. Hypocrisy. Lies. Addiction. Depression. Expectations. School. People-pleasing. Communication.
All of these topics have been discussed at camp before. For that reason, it was the first place I saw adults wanting to ask those questions with me and seek out biblical answers.
When we spend time studying the Word of God, the heavy topics surface. Our God does not ignore them. As a result of being in the Word, some issues naturally come up in the classroom. I will never forget the day that our study naturally prompted a discussion on the issue of suicide, and a fellow student who had lost a friend broke down. The classroom mourned and prayed with her; but it wasn’t overdone or disingenuously emotional.
Some questions and issues stayed in small groups of same-gender students and staff, because it’s not healthy or wise to discuss certain things in mixed company.
But regardless of where they were asked, or where they were discussed, the questions were never shunned and neither were the students who asked them.
If you (or someone you know) is looking for a place that doesn’t sugar coat, but that speaks openly and prays honestly, think about applying for this summer’s EQUIP Boot Camp. Hurry though – Applications are DUE February 1 (Staff Applications are also due Feb 1st)!
Joy Knight was a 2014 intern, with degrees in English and Music. She of course loves good books and music, is a minor-league foodie and enjoys the outdoors. She started working fulltime on the Transform staff September 2014, where she seeks opportunities to serve the students and users of Precept through writing and other projects.