Surabaya: A type of SUV developed by Chevrolet that is fashioned for driving in bay areas such as San Francisco.
Okay, not really. That would simply be my balderdash definition. Surabaya is actually a city in Indonesia - the city where my friend Karin grew up. I mention Karin because she and her brother are in town, and we met up for dinner this evening.
I know Karin from Mosaic in LA. She is 22 years old and currently finishing up film school at Columbia College. Last year we'd occasionally meet up for coffee before church. I was supposed to be her "mentor," and yes, I was somewhat that, but she was also my encourager.
Because just listening to her talk - hearing her joy for life, passion for the Lord, and her heart in loving people - encouraged me greatly when I was at place of weakness.
Reminds me a bit of what Henri Nouwen talks about in his book Lead Like Jesus...
(but I'll need to find that quote another time)
Meeting with her was a always a highlight. I suppose partly because I love working with youth and college students, and that year I had gone from 8 straight years of having "my" girls - (coaching, young life, residence life, etc.) to only being distantly involved in the lives of those who attended a womens study that I help lead at my church.
Between being a camp counselor, a youth leader, an area director, a resident director, a coach, a substitute teacher, and a team leader, I've worked with probably over 10,000 students by now - some more closely than others. And yes, they are the real reason I have so many facebook friends. :)
But what's hard for me, is sometimes you only get one significant conversation. And yes, there are times when you get more - but there always comes a time, when I have to say goodbye.
I got a text at 2 in the morning the other night from a student, asking if I was still up. Of course I was, and so I took the elevator up to her floor to say goodbye. She won't be returning to New York next semester. And I may never see her again - in fact, I probably won't. And it's not that I was close to this particular girl; in fact, I wasn't.
But that's too often my story. Love, leave, and never see again. And I can only hope that God somehow uses me in the brief time that I have with each student that God entrusts to me.
And if any of you (i.e. my former students, campers, etc.) are reading this, please know, I love you, and I'm so thankful for the time that I was able to share with you.