Perry the Platypus and the Holsby RAs
Our experience as students at Holsby was a peaceful and restoring adventure loaded with learning & laughter, meaningful conversations & friendships, and personal growth. All of these aspects facilitated a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and fostered a desire within Johnny and me to stay on as the 2014-15 Resident Assistants.
Last April, I (Ingelis) wasn’t sure what my next step was after Bible School. One morning I was journaling a prayer, asking God for guidance. Immediately afterwards I read Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 and this encouraged me. “Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus.”
Here are a few tales of thankfulness.
Back in June, Johnny & I prayed together for this class. We asked God to prepare us and the hearts of the young men and woman who would be coming. We asked that we all would love each other with a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith. Through the guys’ honest and sincere prayers during the first worship evening together, it was evident that God had been working. The men of Ekhaga are fun-loving, creative and respectful. The women of Brunnsgården are caring, thoughtful and responsible. For example, they each took turns honoring each other by organizing a Guys & Girls night. Without prompting from either Johnny or myself, they creatively planned a couple of unique activities.
The girls organized notes of encouragement so that every guy received three notes. These were presented to them after a favorite dinner of the guys: Shepherd’s Pie. They also made a chocolate cake. Afterwards, the girls impersonated each guy in a friendly yet competitive game where the guys had to guess whom the girls were impersonating. A “Man-Cave” time around a campfire with stick bread and hot dogs followed, along with a movie showing.
The Men of Ekhaga showed a strong initiative with Girls Night and took it upon themselves to entertain the Ladies of Brunnsgården for an entire evening. The night began with dinner in the candle-lit dining room as soft piano music serenaded the formally dressed students, and then moved on to a dessert of fruit and chocolate fondue. The evening flowed into the Chapel with a flash mob dance by the boys– complete with unicycle– and an original rap of appreciation by Triple A & Zephanizzle; oh how the crowd did roar!! Not content with stopping there, the event segued into swing-dancing lessons with the musical assistance of DJ Micah. Meanwhile back in the girls’ dorm, each lady received chocolate, a rose and a handwritten note of encouragement from one of the guys. The vigor and thoughtfulness with which the Men of Ekhaga led this event for the Ladies is enough to make any RA’s heart smile!
As the RAs, Johnny and I plan different activities. We organize and lead TAP hour, which stands for Testimony, Announcements and Prayer. We incorporated a time of praise and worship before and after the testimony time, and this has been a blessed addition. Songs such as, How Deep the Father’s Love For Us, Pure and Holy Passion and Future/Past are a few favorites.
Dorm Life is another time when we can be creative in our planning. Dorm Life is a time when each dorm is together. Some nights are filled with light-hearted games or activities, and others have a more serious tone with a topic and discussion.
This last Dorm Life was unique. Earlier in the week, an innocent joke turned into a funny rumor about a platypus named “Perry” living on the Holsby campus. Some students claimed to have seen it, and Johnny & I went along with it. Before we knew it, some students half skeptically believed “Perry the Platypus” truly had taken up residence at Holsby.
We decided to send all the students on a riddle quest to a few different spots on campus, leading to Perry. Once all the students arrived to the final destination, Johnny instructed them how to coax Perry out of the grove of trees with gentle words. Perry glorious crawled out with a royal trumpet fanfare!
Afterwards, each dorm shared a time of reflection and encouragement for the students who were preparing to leave around a campfire with cornflake cookies baked by yours truly. We both have cherished the memories as the RAs of the 2014-2015 Holsby Bible School.