My husband and I had the opportunity to chaperone on the Junior Campus at the 1992 convention sponsored by Faith PR Church. We had done this previously about 10 years ago and still enjoy pleasant memories and lasting friendships as a result.
Chaperoning a convention can educate one as to the emotional state of our young people. I learned some of what is going on in these young people’s heads and hearts. I thoroughly enjoyed the activities with all the laughter and screeching. The tears of a few who suffered from disappointment, loneliness and from being homesick pulled on my heartstrings more than they know. I particularly enjoyed however, the quiet times during our daily discussion groups and nightly devotions. During discussion groups for example, I learned that for most conventioneers it’s frightening to come from out of state to a Michigan convention. In their words; “there are so may P.R. young people here in Michigan and everybody knows everyone so they assume we do too, consequently we often feel a bit left out.” We as parents could possibly do a bit better at welcoming strangers into our fellowship and therefore set the example for our young people.
During devotions, I decided to get away from the habitual read, pray, go to your room kind of thing. One thing I asked my girls to do was to choose a day that they would voluntarily spend 10 minutes or so alone with their personal Savior and His word. They were to return that following night and share with all of us either one or more verses that they found meaningful and how it affects their personal lives. Although this was on a volunteer basis, everyone participated. What an insight I obtained from these girls through this exercise, and I believe they learned from each other. At the beginning of the week I told them our devotions would be 10 to 15 minutes “max”. However, these times together stretched to 45 minutes or so with me doing very little talking. I loved it.
To be a “chap” at one of our conventions takes a great deal of energy, patience, enthusiasm, endurance and consistency while suffering from sleep deprivation. Would I do it again??????? – Yes, in a heartbeat.
Oh, sure there are those who act disrespectful and disobedient, but when I stand back and look at them from a distance I realize that those who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most. Of course, we realize we are not in a perfect state but nevertheless constantly strive for a Christ-like life. And we hang on to His promise that He will preserve this church even unto the end.