I had the chance to reflect with our high school Sunday school class this past week about the past five years.  I shed more than a few tears- some out of the pain of knowing how much I will miss these students and some because I was just laughingthat hard!  I had completely forgotten about Mrs. Miller chasing me on a floor scooter, yelling, “You’re a quitter!” on my first Tour.

We reminisced about the time I fixed Eleanor McGee’s braces with a pair of needle-nose pliers on the work site, and about the time that Blake Mills used all of his change one Tour to buy 30 sodas out of the vending machines to give to the entire youth group.  Remember the retreat when Bob Fitzgerald had sprayed all of our hair orange?  And the one where we rode paddle boats and played “capture the flag” on the beach?

I have to admit that I’ve been very nostalgic this week- looking through videos and pictures from many of my experiences at RRCB.

I am so grateful for the laughter we have shared and for these memories that I get to carry with me: for meaningful conversations and late night adventures, for dance parties and silly costumes, for wild games or Pitt and for a Fellowship Hall filled with inflatable games and students zealous with a cause- to raise money and awareness forWatering Malawi.  Experiences and friendships like these change you- not just the experiences that we plan or expect to be meaningful (like worship and Bible study), but those spontaneous moments where we let our guard down and find that we laugh until we cry.

As I pack up my office, I can’t help but wonder what will happen to these shelves that are now empty.  At the same time it’s humbling to know that I’m just one of many people God has called to serve and worship with this church.  My hope is that what we’ve built together will last beyond us.  I believe that the legacy we share is one worth remembering and one worth building upon. And even though we are going separate ways, we will always be partners in the ministry of Christ.

By Rachel Hoffman, Minister to Students