Yesterday, do you know what we did with the gappers (name for the gap year students)?
We went out to traffic lights in Stellies (Stellenbosch) and stood there like the beggars do holding up cardboard signs. But our signs conveyed a different message…
We had positive, encouraging and funny messages!
The response from the gappers was so enthusiastic! They enjoyed doing something different. They enjoyed connecting with those waiting at the robots (South African terminology for traffic lights.)
It got me thinking about why I have enjoyed the gap year this year. Because it’s been a full one! (This year seems to be one of the fullest years of my life. Jammed packed with experiences and learning.)
I think of how the back of a Tapestry looks…
It looks messy! It looks chaotic on the reverse end…
However, if you look at that same tapestry from the front; it would look stunning!
At the back, it’s all knots and colours and threads in a seemingly random chaos.
But on the front, all of that creates a stunning image!
Same with this gap year programme:
It has been a full year with all sorts of things:
Fun Wednesday activities
Thurs morning discipleship sessions
Friday morning introspective time
Acting and dancing
A lot of mileage in the vehicle
Trip to Argentina
Being annoyed by people too
All sorts of emotions
Trying new things
Wrestling with God
Standing with cardboard signs
Handing out flyers
Rolling up cables
Wearing make-up for stage
Stepping out of your comfort zone
But all of it… has created and been part of this Pneukleus Gap Year.
All of it has been filtered into a world view, I hope.
Inspired by Proverbs 4: 23 “Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”
My prayer for each gapper is that when they leave at the end of the year:
‘That they would see God in everything. That they would see Him in their career. In their homes. In their friendships. In their choices. That they would live with wonder, with the small things and the big things. To see God in people. To see Him in nature. To see and connect with Him in each moment.’
It’s a big prayer, but we serve a big God, right?
This year, running the programme for the first time, has been an eye opener for me in many ways. There is yet another stance to life: BE OPEN
Open to what’s going on around you.
Open to opportunities.
Open to others.
Open to the movement of God.
Open to all careers out there. Appreciate what others do (even if you’re not interested in that particular field.)
Anyway, I may be sidetracking here a bit. Somethings that stick out for me from the gap year, in no particular order:
1) We climbed table mountain (we hiked up!) – it was a first time for one of our students and it was so great to see the thrill on his face. To see how he was taking it all in. Words fail to describe it. But being part of that moment in his life. Priceless!
2) We visited over 15 various careers. With some of our visits the people we chatted with “married” their work life and faith together. (In some cases I never knew of their stance with Christianity) – but the way they spoke about their career and God and things between, came across so naturally. And definitely inspiring too! “Faith doesn’t have to be a jacket one wears. It cannot be part of our very being.”
3) When the gappers had to do their “I AM presentation” – a way of capturing their years’s experience. To hear and see what God has also done below the “surface of their lives” was moving.
4) Then with the conversations and moments I’ve had with some of them throughout the year. Blessed to have been able to impart some wisdom or even receive some too.
5) The trip to Argentina was mind blowing. So much learned. Two weeks in the country but those days carried so much weight. A good sort of weight.
We really could have a lengthy conversation of all that the gap year has been. And being part of Pneumatix – how God has used the stage too… amazing!