Today was it. The last day. After a travel day yesterday from Philadelphia to Penn Valley Grace Brethren Church for our final program to Akron, Ohio, the students awoke this morning for a full day of debriefing.
Students began individual exit interviews with their leaders, and this continued up until lunch. After lunch, we traveled to Columbus, Ohio and met up with the other team at Grace Polaris. Students reunited with their friends and got to share about their respective tours.
Following was a time of debriefing over how to transition back home and what opportunities lay ahead for OB alum. During this time, our very own Josh Hastings, along with Michelle Keyser from Team Buckeye, was presented the Olszewski Award for serving Jesus and others well. It was a proud moment for the leaders and teammates of both students.
After debriefing, the teams split back into their respective teams, and Team East spent some time taking pictures with each others and then sharing life changing experiences had during the past few weeks. It was a powerful time talking about different ways God has moved, and many tears were shed while recounting the memories.
To finish up the night, the team participated in communion together, capping it with a chorus of choir song “I Give You Me”. This was a somber way to spend some final moments together as a team in worship and fellowship.
The boys then departed to stay the night at Josh Hasting’s home, since his family lives in the area, and the girls stayed at the church for a girls’ night. Tomorrow, goodbyes will promptly start at 7 AM as students will start to be picked up. Pray for safe travels and for the emotions of all, as it may be a very difficult day for everyone tomorrow.
And yeah. That’s about it for me. I’d like to throw in a personal note of thanks to all of you who have followed this blog. Thank you for sticking around as I pushed the limits of acceptable blog etiquette. You read through a blog written as a poem, a blog written as a rap, and, most recently, a blog title with a pun involving underwear. (Or, should I say, punderwear? Haha.) I also pride myself on being the only blog writer in history to say the words “horse poop” in a blog. I feel like I really made a difference in OB blogging and served to Make Blogs Great Again. So, allow me to say thank you for reading. I know you read primarily to keep up with your kid. But I still appreciate it. And, without further ado, farewell. Stay classy, Operation Barnabas parents.
Team East out.