Dang that Corona Virus. It’s messed up lots of really important things for kids. You know, things like graduations, proms, summer activities, etc, Now, what will homecoming weekends look like? Social distancing, face masks at homecoming? These are strange times indeed.
I remember several years ago how a homecoming that got washed away found new life and new friends.
I have never been to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In fact, I’ve only been to Pennsylvania once and that was to Ardmore for the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. But I have a fondness for Lancaster because of some high school kids that I have never met. You see, in 2005, when kids at Lampeter-Strasburg High School heard about the damage that Hurricane Katrina caused to Long Beach High School and Pass Christian High School in Mississippi, they decided to take action.
What started with a phone call of “What can we do to help?” turned into something that made this preacher tear up. The answer to the question was not what they expected. The answer was: “We have lots of donated supplies. No more pencils, please. What we really need is a party for these kids.” You see, the kids were so down after losing everything and they needed a school party to revive their spirits.
So, the idea of a homecoming dance was hatched. The students at Lampeter-Strasburg began the drive for cash and other needed items, such as 400 party dresses. Food was donated and T-shirts with the two school’s logos were made.
A local bus company gave reduced rates, and some 40 students boarded a bus in Pennsylvania for the long ride to the Gulf Coast for a dance. Said one 18-year-old senior from Long Beach, “It is going to put some of my life back together.” Said another Mississippi student, “…them actually coming down here is just really unbelievable. We are really grateful.”
I’m finding reasons to be grateful in spite of the dang Corona virus. My daughter and I have spent more time together than we would have otherwise. I got to take her and some friends to PCB for a week (which might make you think the virus has finally gotten to me). I’ve gotten lots done around the house that had been put off and put off and put off. So, finally things are shaping up. I’ve discovered some really good shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Showtime. Even more than all that, I’ve seen Christian friends check on each other, pray for the sick, and minister to the poor.
Through all this Corona mess, I’ve realized more and more how much I have, and how much I take for granted.
Through a crisis we learn a lot about ourselves and others. Hurricane Katrina didn’t affect me directly, nor did it affect anyone in Lancaster, PA directly. But some kids, who were also grateful for all they had, found compassion for others when they could have looked the other way. So, all these years later, I still want to honor them for their big hearts.
I’ve heard about Christians going the extra mile, but how about 1,168 miles?