Friday – Returns
Morning alarms were snoozed with disbelief all across campus, as the sun burst into our dorm rooms. The excitement for election results following the previous night’s voting hardly allowed time for deep sleep. In a heartbeat, everyone was up and at it, heading to the Conn Center to watch Mr. Burst and Ms. Kiss take on the Morning Show courtroom.
During the morning session, we were so deeply blessed to listen as our speaker, Kojo Abakah, gave testimony to God’s faithful, abundant provision which all began with a shoebox from Samaritan’s purse. It was amazing to witness how Kojo’s face still lights up just thinking about that box, not because of the toys, but because it represents such a clear token of God’s unmerited provision, piercing the darkness of his youth. Each step of Kojo’s life, from school in Ghana, to applying to school in Tennessee, to getting a plane ticket, to graduating college without debt, each step involved immense faith, that if God had provided thus far he would definitely take him all the way. When God is driving the bus, Kojo says, we can take a nap. In closing, we lifted up one voice proclaiming “Jesus loves me”, a perfect picture of the childlike faith that defined Kojo’s life.
During the afternoon, one could begin to sense the week’s end approaching. You had to look harder to find a frisbee, volleyball, or soccer game, but the competition was fierce and the crowd substantial. Elections Hall was mostly cleaned up, and students, finished with their commitments to sports or the campaign trail, headed over to the talent show in hundreds to witness TeenPact’s finest. The line for nine square stretched quite far beneath the hot sun, just as it has all week, and groups of students gathered beneath the large trees sheltering Coffeehouse to play music, sing, and relax. Amidst all these activities, anticipation steadily built for evening worship, election results, and TeenPact commercials.
The presidential race was full of energy, but didn’t turn out to be too much of a nail-biter, as Hale/McCue pulled away from the pack significantly across the last couple of states. The commercials, however, only became more and more intense, eventually reaching a climax in the all-new Disc Wars: Return of the Sensei, which included a visit to the old National Convention location, Fort Bluff, where Sensei Johnny first gained his infamous wrist control over the dreaded mugger.
In a heart-warming moment, after the music, confetti, and lights faded, Zach McCue used his new vice-president elect platform to not only proclaim his campaign message, but also that of the other candidates, as he called on the TeenPact nation to go make a bold move to surrender our grains of time to being children of light. Not only in that moment, but all through the night, it was a blessing to watch the various candidates encouraging and supporting one another as they gathered before the event, prayed for one another, and clapped for each other during the returns. As the winner’s names were announced, it was touching to watch as friends ran from across the auditorium to give congratulatory hugs, and to hear as the TeenPact Network News anchors praised the candidates very personally and specifically.
Today, we caught just a glimpse. A glimpse of what God can do through hearts yielded to his purposes. A glimpse of childlike faith, precious in God’s sight. A glimpse of faithful service, exemplified by the TeenPact office staff we were honored to recognize and thank. A glimpse of singing together for endless days. A glimpse of heaven. O, Lord, haste the day when our faith shall be sight! We struggle to think of leaving this place but rejoice in knowing that all the longings of our hearts will be fully satisfied when we look upon our savior’s face together. Hallelujah! Glory be to God!