Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Extracurricular Mentoring

Classes at the institute finish at 10 pm and the students begin making their way home. Some travelling as far as 5 hours each way and the majority at least an hour commute. Those of us that live in the same section of the city, walk the 7 blocks to the subway station and take the subway northeast. It's 30 to 50 minutes more of time together and we take advantage of it as part of our role as mentors.
In the photo above Annette waits with David Killy, one of the first graduates from the Youth Leadership Institute. This pic is taken at around 11:00 pm at the train station where, after the subway ride, we wait with him for his train to arrive (and as you can see below, it arrived).
Though our workday is a bit out of whack, we thoroughly appreciate the opportunity to invest of lives in these 20-something and 30-something youth leaders from all over the city and continent.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Out of the Box

For months most of our pictures have been of students at the EJ Institute, an accurate reflection of our life, but in the last few weeks we’ve gotten out a bit more. Here are some highlights:

IEJ Challenge
If you can imagine The Amazing Race infused with spiritual disciplines you’ll have an idea of the event we lead for 34 of the students. It was as much a challenge for us as it was for them but we’re all agreed it accomplished more in 48 hours than all of the mentoring we’ve done over the past months combined.

Generacion Lideres
Most of our students work on a team with other people, who are passionate about working with teenagers but who don’t have formal training. This day long training event was the perfect venue for our students to learn alongside their leadership team, resulting in shared vision and better communication.

I have enjoyed wonderful runs this autumn and capped off the season running 13.4 miles at the annual fall half-marathon. If that seems longer than a normal “half” …it was. According to my GPS I ran three tenths of a mile more than I needed to, which is a good reminder that sometimes it’s OK to “cut corners” instead of “going the extra mile.”

Raices in Rosario province of Santa Fe, Argentina
In the past ten years Raices (Roots) has grown from an annual congress into an organic movement with impact throughout the Spanish speaking world. We haven’t accepted invitations related to it since the opening of the EJ Institute, but we couldn’t resist a weekend retreat about four hours from Buenos Aires in which our seven hours of teaching was complemented by the participation of three students and one of the mentors from the EJ Institute.

If someone had offered us a week of vacation in this amazing country we never would have accepted it at this point, but God knew we needed a change of pace so he orchestrated an invitation to a think tank about Christian education in Latin America that we couldn’t resist. Down time with the EJ Institute director and his wife, a visit to the Guatemala campus, catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in over fifteen years, and a canopy tour were unexpected outcomes of the trip. What was no surprise was the great coffee. (We came home with nine pounds of it.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy, Feliz Birthday, Annette!

She's my best friend and my overall favorite person in world. She's hard working and inspirational, she laughs and smiles easily and makes you feel accepted, but then challenges you with great questions and deep, quotable statements. She's beautiful and strong and soft and fit... all in one person.

Happy, happy birthday, Annette!