Career Day at the Middle School

My sweet brother, Anthony, is in the 7th grade. He asked me to come in and talk to his class for Career Day.

“You want me to talk about my career at your public school? I think I’m gonna have to talk to your teacher first.”

What is my career? I’m not sure. I’ve been a missionary-type in Portugal, working with teenagers. And now, I’ve just started working for South Potomac Church as their (part-time) Director of Youth Ministries. [There. That was the great unveiling of the Help-Wanted Poll. The two least-voted-for options were my top two choices, incidentally!] I was sure that the school would frown upon me coming in and talking about my line of work.

I was wrong. I asked the nice teacher in charge if I could say that my career involves talking with young people about Jesus. She said it’d be ok, as long as I wasn’t a religion pusher. (No sweat, lady! Religion kills!)

So today I got to present my “career” as a “professional youth worker” to about 350 kids aged 11-14. (Funny, I didn’t even know I had a career before today…eventhough I’ve been working with young people for 9 years, I never would have thought of it this way.) I said in pretty simple terms that I have the best job in the world cause I get to be friends with young people for a living, and talk with them about my best friend, Jesus. And no matter what they think (or don’t think) about Jesus, I still get to love them all! So that’s great. And that the real paycheck is seeing lives changed. I told them that I went to college and loved it, and that they should all study abroad for a semester when they go to college. I showed them some pictures of Portugal, and played them Front Door’s song, Love Lessons. It was an altogether lovely day. Here are some more of the highlights and very-cute questions I was asked:

1. A spunky little girl in 8th grade saying to me, “I’ve been telling my friends that I want to be a pastor when I grow up, but they say I can’t, because I’m a girl. But, you’re a girl, and you’re a pastor!” Me: “You can be a pastor and be a girl. You just might not get called a ‘pastor,’ but you can definitely be one. That’s more important, anyway…not what they call ya.”
2. “Can you go shopping in Portugal?”
3. “What is the name of your haircut?”
4. “Jesus is your best friend? For real, though?”
5. “Do you get paid?”
6. “Is it important for you to be close to God and Jesus for your job?”
7. “Did you play in that band [Front Door]?”
8. Another young one coming up to me and, in a few short sentences, telling me all the pain they’d experienced in their family, and how they needed someone to talk to. He left me his number and asked me to call him.
9. Teaching masses of American kids how to say cute things in Portuguese slang. And then hearing them say it to each other on the way out of class!

Comments
3 Responses to “Career Day at the Middle School”
  1. lisa says:

    I know you have been experiencing very hard things lately. I am super sad about your friend leaving for Iraq soon. I think this nice time at the Middle School was a good day for you. A little smile in the midst of it all.

  2. Morgan and Sue says:

    Morgan and I are sitting here gettnig to know you…weird cuz you’re not here…but your blog is!
    How sweet #1: your brother asked you – smart kid – knows a great career woman when he sees one! #2 those kids got a huge treat by having you in there…because you represent Christ and brought Him in that classroom with you. YOU ARE AWESOME!

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