Four of the Year 11 Ellenbrook Christian College students attended a staff devotion this morning. They have recently returned from the Philippines, Leavers to Leaders trip. After a brief video the students spoke of their experiences and the impact of the trip. It was a moving and inspiring experience. You see with so many of these mission trips, we can often get quite confused and make the mistake of thinking that it is us who are doing something of great benefit to others. In fact, the opposite is true. When I saw the tears on the faces of some of our students as they spoke of their experiences, when I heard the passion in their voices as they recounted what they had learnt about themselves, it was obvious that the experience was one in which they were the greatest beneficiaries.
We spoke of the privilege of being able to serve Cabacungan, to be accepted into their community, to have the opportunity for such deep personal growth and revelation. This experience has irreversibly changed the way these young men and women see the world. They now look through new eyes at their own lives and the plight of others. What a wonderful opportunity for our students.
As the academic year ends and we move toward Christmas, it is always worth reflecting on the importance of this time of the year. Christmas to me still holds the same magic it did when I was a child, it is a time that I have always relished; the beauty of the Christmas story told through song as we sing our favourite carols, the festive atmosphere and the inevitable sense of joy as the world seems to forget, even just for a moment the pressing daily worries of life, the sense of peace that seems to descend for a short while. Most of all though I am still awestruck by the thought of the omnipotent creator of the universe, so motivated by love for his children, setting aside his deity and coming to earth as a helpless infant. The ultimate act of love and eventual sacrifice. It still stops me in my tracks when I think about it and I am still overwhelmed by realisation.
I encourage all our families to make the most of this special time with family. I challenge each of us to find time and list the things we must be grateful for and actively seek an opportunity to bless somebody that needs it. I encourage each of our families in their own way to take a moment to remember the true meaning of this special time of the year.
I wish each of you a very merry and blessed Christmas, and we wish you a safe and restful break. We look forward to welcoming you back for an amazing 2018.