Ida made her faith her own at Hillcrest. The 85 miles kept a good distance between the rock of faith Ida stood on through her adolescents. As she matured to a young woman she developed a hunger and love for the Lord. Ida developed a robust personal relationship with Jesus during Hillcrest, something that would steady her as she embarked on a lifestyle of service.
It was way back in the fall when we first stood in line to register. Some of us stood there with great big lumps in our throats and felt as if we were only hands and feet. Then after registration we went up to our bare rooms, threw ourselves on the bed and cried oceans of tears. After a while a friendly senior came in and persuaded us to come out and meet some of the nicest girls we have ever seen, and before long we began to feel right at home.
Some years ago in one of my parishes, I had an interesting discussion with a man who was an educator. He objected to christian education on the ground that he thought young people were so utterly protected from the ideas of the world that they ended up over-protected. He felt that when they once came out into a hostile world, they had not had any opposition and had not placed their roots very deeply, and as a result had a rather fragile brand of Christianity.
There was more talking than game planning before the games on December 28 and 29 inside the Comet gym. Players from Hillcrest’s 2000 second place in state team gathered with the 2001 third place team. Conversations didn’t center on Basketball or the old days. Discussions centered with how kids are doing and what is new in the workplace. Younger alumni shared how college is going, what campus ministries they’re involved in, and some of the challenging things that are happening on their campus. But when the laces tightened the focus shifted to a game the 30+ alumni who gathered knew by heart, instructed by Coach Preston to approach the court with special attention.
Hot coals filled the fire pit trench in the concrete floor of the boys dorm patio. Kebabs sizzled on the grate. She looks between her African, Norwegian and American friends, effortlessly switching between languages. Debora Abate is a true testament to the power if bilinguality.
As the chapel filled, classmates talked, some muttering of the war. It is warm, and the dry, dusty atmosphere created a soft, brownish light. In the midst of dark talk, one student begins to hum the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”. A friend joins in, and then another. The students in the next pew look over and nod. They must have come from Mrs. Skovholt’s class, a class that gave students a grounding in uncertain times.