The waters that bind us…
Sometimes you are just surprised by the ways in which we really are all bound together. It happened last week at church. In the short bio they had put in the worship guide about me, pulled from the Providence website, it stated that I have been active with the SC Campaign toPrevent Teen Pregnancy. (In all fairness it is one of the great organizations in our country and I am so proud of my connection with them!)
Well, a young man in the congregation came up to Anita after the service and said that he would like to talk with me. He was helping put together a conference on issue around teen sexuality and wondered if I would be a part. I took it to mean that he was inviting me to be there, to listen and learn. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity and so quickly agreed.
Last Saturday he called to confirm, and as we talked I realized that he wanted me to present—to the teens. Sure, I thought! I have some stuff on my computer that I have used previously. I will just do that! With a group of 25-30 I can talk, we can have some questions, it will be wonderful!
On Sunday as we were finalizing everything I just happened to ask, to confirm my assumptions, “So how many teens are going to be participating?”
Well, it turns out that he was wrong! There were only about 250!
So this morning I found myself in front of a bunch of Indonesian teens (loosely termed—actually the ages ranged from 10-20!) talking about sexuality and how to make good decisions! Fortunately, I had an interpreters, since I don’t speak Indonesian and they didn’t speak English. Someone asked how it went and I can honestly say, “I have no idea!” I really don’t know what I said! Oh, I know what I said, but what did they hear??? Ask my interpreter!!!
Anyway, I did my spill, and then opened it up for questions. That is when I realized that a)I had overshot my audience. They were really Middle Schoolers; and b) they asked the same questions that teens in the US want to know—about relationships, and affection and intimacy and making good decisions and friends and family. Not one question about plumbing—thanks be to God!
One more similarity, when I asked them how many of their parents had talked to them about sex, there were 2 hands that were raised—both females. Indonesia has the same problem that we have in the US. Parents are failing to be the educators that our children so need! We need to do better—all over the world!
So if you are in the US, and have children, talk to them! You can find wonderful resources to help at the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy as well as the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies. Talk to them! They need it and want it. Otherwise they may have to hear it through an interpreter—and who knows what he will say!