After a month in Guatemala, the team will return to the States this week. As you prepare to receive them, here are some things I hope you’ll think about to help the team make the most of this trip.
For those of you meeting students at the airport, here’s flight information:
Kacie and Thanh return to San Francisco at 2:05 PM on August 30 on United 1456.
Grace returns to Philadelphia at 4:58 PM on August 30 on United 1559.
Sheila returns to Denver at 11:55 PM on August 30 on Spirit 355.
As the group returns, they’ll continue to think through this experience and its implications for their lives. It’s likely that this mental processing will involve at least some of these elements:
- Relief upon returning to familiar surroundings,
- Frustration with aspects of home culture that appear less desirable than the cultural values experienced during the SPRINT experience,
- Sadness and joy over relationships and memories developed during the trip,
- And hopefully, Resolve to incorporate the learning from this trip into daily life as life moves on.
It’s our hope that SPRINT participants will return to “life as usual” with expanded worldviews and a clearer sense of God’s work in their lives. The learning process continues after the trip experience; students will participate in a debriefing gathering in October, and will be encouraged to continue meeting with their SPRINT team to share the story of their host’s work and encourage future generations of SPRINT participants to serve.
I encourage you to give your student time to catch up on sleep, then set aside an extended period of time to share pictures and stories. Don’t expect completely-formed opinions immediately; the reflection process takes time. We remind returning SPRINTers that not everyone will have time to hear the whole story, but that they should find a few people with whom to share the longer, more in-depth account.
I’ve mailed team members some discussion questions and a copy of the Global Citizen Journal, published by the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship (www.kristafoundation.org), to help them think through their experience as they move forward. If you’ve got time, I’d encourage you to talk though some of these materials with your student.
Thanks for your support of students on this team! Please let me know if you have questions.