Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fray Education Center Graduation 2008

Last night was the high school graduation for Fray Education Center, an alternative school in Rustburg. They had 24 graduating, the largest class they had ever had graduate. So large that they had the graduation at Timberlake UMC, besides Fray doesn't have AC and it would've been sweltering. It was unlike any graduation I had ever been to and I had been asked to be the guest speaker.
The students, families, and guests were blessed with a wonderful home cooked meal. They had meat loaf, ham, green beans, mac & cheese, potato salad, vegetable salad, and an assortment of deserts. The chief cook was Doots Abbott, the Principal's mother. Doot's and her husband, Dickie attend church at Republican Grove UMC.
We had Kevin, Heidi, and Betty Jo Dawson from Republican Grove serving. It was like a church extension ministry going on that I didn't even know existed.

The family Life Center of Timberlake UMC was packed for the meal. The food was great! (Having had Doot's cooking before I knew it would be.) Principal Jeaneen Abbott circulated talking to her students and their families. You could tell how much she cares for the kids.

The students graduating were from 4 different high schools; Altavista, Brookville, Rustburg, and William Campbell. They were told they could wear their school color robe or any color they chose.

I made my message short (which I'm sure was appreciated). The point was that life is an adventure that God has planned for us. No matter what happens good or ill, if we remember "its all part of the adventure" he can see us through.

Jeaneen had told each student that they could request whoever they wanted to present them their diploma. Some asked favorites teachers from Fray or their home school, some asked parents, and many received them form the principal who had seen them through.

Last night I watched more than a graduation. I watched an act of love take place, I watched real ministry happening. I saw young men and women, many of whom had been told they'd never make it, make it. Jeaneen told a bit about each student before they came forward and it was from the heart. She told each of them that she loved them and for them to be safe. But, beyond what she told them was what she showed them and that was love. It was a wondrous thing to watch and I got to be part of it. I was so blessed.


Anonymous said...

I was there. It was just like you said - wonderful! I cried, but they were good tears. You were a great motivational speaker and have a great heart for kids.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you pretty well covered everything, good job. M&D