When they were in 7th grade - five years ago.
The TIS Senior Class of 2010
Every year Mark has his 8th grade students write a card of encouragement to each Senior student. Here is his accompanying letter.
To the Senior Class:
Please accept these cards as my gift to you. Those of you who have passed through my 8th grade class know that I take this very seriously. Some of you did this yourselves....when the current 8th grade students were in 4th grade. Although it is an assignment, when I explain who you are, what life transitions you are about to experience, what temptations you will face...my students begin to see the seriousness of life through your eyes. When a student tells you that he will pray for you, he means it....or I would not let them say it.
I know almost all of you....some for 6 or 7 years. You have been, and always will be, a blessing to my heart. I will pray for you....all of you. It has been, through God's grace, my honor to know you, to teach you, to harass you and now, to give you to Him. I trust Him with your life, do you?
You may have already learned this....sometimes life is messy. You will look for answers, consolation, peace, healing, and for truth....something upon which to base your decisions, your hopes and dreams, even your sanity. I contend that there is only one source for all of this. His name is Jesus. He is the Christ....the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world....your sins.....and mine.
His Word is perfect. His Word is alive....before the foundation of the world He is. He never lies. He never changes His mind. He loved you on the Cross....that has, and never will change. His Word is not some obscure, outdated book. It is alive and active. It will show you who you really are, if you are willing to be honest. It will always tell you the truth....and the truth will set you free. You will find that in a world which wants to take control of you. Freedom is precious.
So, go on into the world. The Lord will help you to make a difference in the world without being part of the world. Seek His will in all things. When you're not sure if you are doing what He wants, keep on doing something for His honor and glory - not your own. Pray without ceasing. Ask Him for forgiveness. Forgive. Be patient. Be kind. Be generous. Be courageous. You are not alone. He will never leave you or forsake you.
Come back and see me. I love you very much.
In His Name,