Impression 1

My first impression of the students of Holbrook was, “aww, they’re so sweet.” Especially the younger girls. The older kids have their own groups and are less shy – but they don’t really talk to us. Hopefully that will change.

During chapel the first night one little girl wanted me to sit with her. It made me feel very welcomed. That’s how it usually is. The younger girls want us (the older girls) to sit with them during meals and worship.

Coming to Holbrook made me realize how fortunate I am to have what I have. I hope throughout this trip we and the students become closer to each other and we grow closer to Jesus. The kids here are super sweet and I hope we bring them closer to God.

– Anonymous

Freshman at Weimar Academy

Impression 2

We all have choices we have to make. Choices that hardly affect our life and some that determine our life. Choices always, however, determine our character. They build who we are and each choice we make affects our next action. However, there are some choices that are made for us already: whether or not we grow up rich, where we’re born, who raises us, etc. Most of us can say that we grew up in a good home; Christian parents, enough food, a safe place to sleep. However, there are children in this world who don’t grow up with these things. There are children whose parents abandon them. One girl’s story in particular really impacted me. Her mom has just deserted her. She doesn’t know yet, but she’s not dumb. She notices that the deans try to come up with other things to do when she asks to talk to her mom on the phone. She sees the other girls still allowed to call their mothers. Her home leave started today. She looked at me and said, “I’m so excited! I want to see my parents. I love my parents.” And I had to fight back tears just knowing that she wouldn’t be able to go home. She would have to stay with staff instead. And she’s not the only one. These kids go home and come back to school out-of-it. Not because they don’t like school or because they miss home already, but of their home situations. While student’s from my school look forward to homeleaves, some students here dread it. Some won’t even be going home for the summer just because they don’t want to be at home for that long. These kids don’t get the love they need at home. You can tell, because as soon as they see you, all they ask for is a hug. That’s it. A hug. Because that’s not even something they regularly get. They just want to be truly loved. And maybe, just maybe, we can be the last chance they get. We aren’t here to be superheroes. No, we’re just here to be friends. Why? Because they don’t need something that isn’t real. They’ve seen plenty of those in their lifetime. We’re here to be something that’s real. Something that’s true. And the most important thing that they can learn from us is that no matter what they’ve been through, no matter how they feel, there is an amazing God who will love them no matter what. And yes, maybe that sounds cliche to them, or unrealistic, but that’s what we’re here for; to show them that He is real and that just as real is His love for us.

Daniella Hasel – Senior at Weimar Academy