There are moments that unequivocally mark the passage of time. Such a moment happened on Tuesday, as BFA’s new year got underway. There were ghosts lurking in the corners of every room I entered on that day–ghosts that looked familiar, in a sweet-wistful-happy-sad kind of way.
But how could I stay bittersweet for long, considering the reasons that prevented me from attending the school’s opening last year! It was a time for celebrations. The feverish two weeks preceding opening ceremonies came to a screeching halt as this year’s band of merry seniors carried their countries’ flags down the aisle to the stage and officially entered their final year of high school.
The highlight of the ceremony for me was the Student Body President’s address. With his permission, I’d like to share some of Will McCollum’s words with you. He expressed simply and beautifully what many MKs couln’t put into words.
“Each of us has our own story. Most of us here have been blessed with exciting plots full of climaxes and twists. We’ve lived in multiple countries, many of us even multiple continents. Throughout our short lives, we’ve witnessed things that most people will never get the chance to see.
Back in our home countries, the majority of people couldn’t comprehend our story if we told it to them. As we flipped through the pages of our lives, they would blankly stare at us. I was confronted with this dilemma my sophomore year at public school in the States. I felt that if I wanted to fit in I would have to conform. Otherwise, my peers would never understand me. I would have to shed that third culture that so thoroughly defines me.
We, as MKs, should never stow away or conceal those experiences that make us who we are because as believers, we should not always fit in with the rest of the world.
Here at BFA, we aren’t even tempted to shed our third culture. The community here is unique because it is comprised of third culture kids. Here, we can spend time with friends who really do understand. They understand transition, they understand cultures, and they understand goodbyes. Therefore, we should cherish every second we spend here together.
We should not let our time here pass us by and should never take the fellowship found here for granted. One day, living out our faith will not seem as effortless as it does here. Let us enjoy this community while we have it. These are the days that we will look back on with awe. Let us make memories here at BFA, keeping in mind that these days will not last forever.”
(The beginning of a BFA school year also means painful goodbyes for families entrusting their children to our boarding program. I think this picture expresses it well.)