In order to get there, we went through two pre-departure briefings with students, one for each destination. Our hypothesis, which we shared several weeks back, is that by connecting with them early, we have a better chance of making a substantial relationship with them, a better chance of winning their trust.
As we might have anticipated, the two groups have substantially different group personalities. The differences are pretty clear to us and arise from several factors. It is interesting to see the difference in group function.
We are trying to figure out the most effective means for professors to integrate into these student groups. It is a BIG transition for the group leaders, the professional staff who direct these groups. They signed on to work with students. As naive as Brenda and I may be, we have a hard time really blending in with 20-somethings. Some leaders take this better than others.
These young men and women will be helping run the country and the church in the USA. They are the best and brightest, in my view, young people in the Church.
Ultimately, the Church is in G^d's capable hands, and there is no concerns about that. But as best we can tell, these young people area capable lot as well.
Thanks be to G^d!