School is almost over. One more day with my kids. Yes, they have become “my kids”. It never occurred to me how much seven 8th graders whom I would spend just a week with would mean so much. The first day of school was a bit tentative with most of the students as they weren’t really opened to share much, except for good ‘ole Benny, who right at the start of the morning came up, introduced himself and engaged me in conversation. By Wednesday though, I found myself calling them “my kids”. All of them had, in a way, opened up to me, by either talking about their family, what they do outside of school or just asking for help in math.

Coming in to this SOUL trip to Browning, Montana, I thought I would do most of the helping and giving, but it turns out that it was my kids who helped and gave to me. Through the daily struggles of them focusing on school and their own personal issues, they still brought immense joy, laughter, and amusement into this week. Being able to see how under their hard exterior, they are some of the sweetest kids I’ve ever met. It is amazing to see how God has made them so strong for their young age, despite the struggles they face in their daily lives. I might not see my kids again, yet they will always hold a special part in my heart.