Though it may be ancient history for you (as it is for me) an important day is fast approaching for a certain group of people. It is the day that the latest graduates from the AIM program will cross the stage, receive their certificate, and officially conclude their commitment. Though most have been back from their field assignments for months, this will still be a significant experience as it marks the end.
For those of you that experienced it, what are your specific memories about that day? What was it like for you? Do you remember how it felt to see everyone again? Can you still remember how much people had changed, physically and spiritually? Maybe you felt sadness because it was done or maybe you felt excited because of what you were doing next, but whatever you experienced you probably have some strong memories about it.
Well, on March 13 I have the privilege to speak to these students. I have thought and prayed long and hard about what to say to them. I do realize, though, that I am limited. I am limited to my own experience. Though I have talked to hundreds of AIM alumni over the last 15 years, I still only have my vantage point. So I’m wondering, what would you say? More specifically, what do you wish someone had told you? If you were able to go back and address your AIM class what would you have want said to you that would have helped you to get through the transition smoother and in an even more healthy way? What would you have said to encourage? To challenge? To help your audience cling even tighter to their relationship with the God who made and has purpose for them? What would you say?
I have no illusions that this one speech will fix everything, but if it is able to bless one student, that is a tremendous blessing that I want to participate in. I ask that you would be praying for me that I would do this in a way that would bring honor to God and that you would send me your thoughts so that I could more fully express ideas that would bring greater healing to His people.
- Jason Thornton