As a class, we’ve been looking forward to this day! We had the honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier! What an honor it is for our school to be able to pay respect to the many men and women who have given their lives for freedom – not just for you and I in the United States- but countless times going to other countries and giving their lives for the freedom of others. You can’t participate in the ceremony or watch the changing of the guards and not be impacted in some way! Our four students; Ricky Campbell, Sean Aleman, Emerald Courtney and Moriah Olson represented their class, their school and their families well.
We are privileged again this year to have Colonel Randy Mauldin and his wife Beth, join us for a couple of days. Colonel Mauldin spoke to us about what it takes once you make an oath – you’ve said you will obey no matter what is asked of you. It’s a huge commitment that is made not just by you but your whole family. He shared how it is to be a Christian in the military and how their faith has sustained them for 26 years of serving our nation. It always blesses me to see Colonel Mauldin arrange his schedule, take time out of a very demanding life and come and encourage our students to allow God to be in their lives, to challenge their lives and to change their lives so they in turn, can change the lives of others for the kingdom of God.
As we left the cemetery we visited the Kennedy eternal flame memorial.
We also have Lieutenant Matthew Smith (another Summit alumni) joining us for a couple of days, encouraging our students and challenging them to take moments like these impact trips and embrace all that God is putting before them.
We had a late lunch and a little shopping time at Pentagon City Mall (mainly getting the extra scarves and hats needed to brave the cold)
After dinner we had the honor of having Beth share! She is such a great storyteller. Just listening to her share about ‘funny’ cross culture experiences you have to know that her own classroom students love her. (Math Teacher) Listening to them both share about how many times they moved, how they would prepare themselves, then their children for a ‘new school, home, military base’ was amazing. Again, what Randy had shared earlier came in to play… they had made a commitment and over and over changes and sacrifices were asked of them. Over and over, they obeyed and even though there would be extremely difficult time, God showed himself faithful and blessed them with new experiences, continually building their faith and trust in Him.
Tonight’ debrief (This is where everyone comments on something that impacted them during the day)
(As the students began sharing I was sad I had not brought my computer with me to take notes.)
Of course for many the Changing of the Guards and the Wreath Laying Ceremony made a huge impact.
A couple of students got really vulnerable and shared how it really convicted them about what they do with their time. How we squander our time when we really can take this time we are given now and make every moment count for God.
What Thomas had shared the night before really encouraged some of them that they can make a difference against the darkness that wages war against Christian values in our country.
For others, just seeing the thousands of white grave markers in Arlington Cemetery were overwhelming. It really brought home the statement – Freedom isn’t Free.
All of the leaders echo Mr. Miller’s statement to the students – We are so proud of you and impressed with you!
There is so much more – Pray for our students – a day like today can truly impact them forever. Pray they allow their hearts to continue to be stretch and challenged by the Holy Spirit to become young women and men of Integrity that will but Sacrifice before Self (just like our Savior) and will live lives of excellence – bringing glory to God in all they do.
Tomorrow we go to church at Oakton United Methodist Church. It’s about 15 minutes from our hotel then have a meal with them.
We’ll go from there and Prayer walk Embassy Row then walk the Memorials. (if time allows, we’ll also go to the Holocaust Museum)
Thank you for your prayers. Please pray for Lexi Gant, a sore throat in really cold weather is not fun!