After watching a powerful video about how some individual have been touched by others, Clemens PIE Students shared who had been the biggest positive influence in their lives and how. Then they wrote that person a letter telling them what that person and their influence has meant to them.
PIE leader, Dee Dee, and the teachers helped get the group started by sharing a personal story of someone that has positively influenced their lives.
Dee Dee shared that the parable Jesus taught in Matthew 7:1-5 - about not to look at the twig in someone else's eye, but look at the log in your own eye. She explained how when she doesn't see eye to eye with someone that parable often makes her stop and think about how she is contributing to the situation - are her words and actions helpful or hurtful - as well as trying to view the situation from the other person's perspective. Practicing this she often see her mistakes and by considering the feelings of the other person she's able to expand her thoughts, it becomes easier to compromise or resolve.
The teachers both shared how much their students positively influence them and how much they enjoy their jobs because of the students. Both of them shared how in their first year of teaching, it was the students influence that continued their desire to be a teacher. And how much their students continue to mean to them.
You could see how powerful their sentiments were in the faces of the students as they listened.
One student shared that her grandmother had been ill and needed surgery. But despite her health concerns, she was still putting others first. The example of how her grandmother choose to live moved the student and several other PIE members tears.
Another girl shared that she and her mom both suffer from anxiety. When her mom sees her daughter stressing, she wraps her in a big hug and the girls anxiety melts away. She said it's like her mom is absorbing it. It was powerful to her because she knows her mom has her own stresses, but is willing to take on her daughters in order to give her peace. It was such a vivid picture of Jesus on the cross, willingly bearing the burden of our sins.
Others recognized their mom, dad, a sibling, friends, teachers, coaches, music leaders, etc. for being someone to talk to, someone that wants to hear the "long" version of their friend's story, listening, making them laugh or smile, knowing them well enough to know when they're having a bad day.
"I left the school feeling like I saw the face of God in their stories," notes Dee Dee. "The discussion opened the door for them to share some of their struggles. I'm so grateful these students have PIC Prayer Partners praying for them and sending encouraging notes. They're greatly needed and very appreciated."