Monday, September 1, 2014

Lessons Learned in the Sandbox

*This post was originally written in early July 2014, when I was still serving in Piliscsaba, Hungary as a Young Adult in Global Mission (YAGM).  I have since returned to the USA and am beginning a new a journey in Texas*

Making sand creations in the back yard of the Kindergarten with
Panka, VirĂ¡g, and Zsiga
Over the last ten months or so, I have logged a huge number of hours in the sandbox.  As part of my site placement in the Lutheran Kindergarten and Daycare Center in Piliscsaba, I have made many a sand castles, sand cakes, sand bread, and even sand soup with the kids.  Now while I know that these are all imaginary and creative concoctions, several times I have actually had to remind the children to NOT in fact eat the sand.  Still, I find the sandbox to be a great place to build, play, and imagine  because, I too have let my thoughts and imagination soar while playing in the sand. 

As trivial as playing in the sandbox may sound, in my opinion there actually IS an art to making sand creations.  Most importantly you need sand and some tools like buckets and shovels are great additions as well.  But these items alone do not guarantee a successful sand creation.  Imagine on a hot and dry day filling a bucket of sand for a castle.  Upon flipping the bucket over to tap the top to let the sand out, the sand comes flowing out loose and shapeless, resulting in a mound of nothing.

From sandbox to swing set, a day in the life of a kindergartner.
Maybe you have personally experienced this phenomenon at the beach, when you are building too far away from the tide.  Because, everyone knows that the key ingredient to making sand castles, is in fact water.

Without water, the sand can not properly stick together to hold it’s shape and form for it’s intended purpose, whether it be a castle, cake, etc.  Just like water helps sand creations hold their shape and form, the waters of baptism mold us to be individuals in fulfilling our intended purpose as God’s precious children.  It is through the waters of baptism that we are called, claimed, formed, and shaped to share the love and grace taught through the Gospel.

I am thankful for the lessons I have learned through my time with the Kindergarten this year, no matter how simple or complex.  And though it saddens me to say goodbye to my little ones, I leave this place confidently knowing that this community will continue to nourish and care for them, because this community has done the same for me.


A few of the most joyful and loving people I've ever had the pleasure to care for.

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