After spending most of Saturday and Sunday recovering, it was time for the Sunday night meeting with the staff we would be working with at the school that week, and I have to admit, part of me wished I didn't have to go--it was baldly selfish, but I was still exhausted and slightly uneasy from the trip to Europe. But as we drove home from that meeting at a Hungarian restaurant (one that serves very good potatoes, let me tell you), I was so glad that I went.
The first impression that I had of the leaders that served at this school was that they were some of the most solidly Christian people I had ever met. From their love and friendliness, to their servant's attitudes, and on through to their firm stand on the Gospel and scriptural authority, I knew right away that I was going to love these people. And I did.
After hours of discussing how the week was going to play out, we adjourned and went back to where we were staying with the Thompson family (missionaries in Budapest--just wait, I'll get to them soon enough), attempting to get a good night's rest before we started ministry full swing in the morning. My mom and I succeeded--Dad, not so much. But the day made up for it all by itself.
I was immediately impressed, not only by the efficiency, helpfulness, and continued friendliness by the staff at ICSB, but by the overwhelming welcome we got from everyone at the school, from the staff to the middle schoolers to the high schoolers and beyond to everyone involved in helping the school stay up and running.
The middle schoolers, as they usually are, were full of energy. But they weren't disrespectful--they listened, they engaged with the lesson, and afterward, talking with some of them at lunch and then going out to play tag with a few of the boys outside, I was treated to just how friendly and welcoming this group of middle school students truly were. And it made me want to cry. Still does.
The high schoolers were just as friendly and welcoming. They took the lesson seriously in the right places, and had fun with us when it was time to have fun. And it was so encouraging to see how they were being leaders at their school--role models for the other students to look up to.
Encouragement followed us all throughout that first day as we got so much positive feedback from the students on how much they had liked the lesson and my song. We had a long conversation over lunch with Austin, one of the leaders at the school in charge of the chapel time, and a worship leader and youth leader to boot. His razor-sharp wit and easy going nature made us feel at home, and we left the school that day feeling so ready for the rest of the week.
It only gets better from there.