I'm sure this blog post has been written and rewritten, published and republished, countless times, but I'm going to take a stab at it once more on a really personal level that I hope won't bore you.
I've spent the last three days visiting (and there's more to come). My grandparents have come a few times, I've seen family friends, and I've visited teachers. I know that's a surprise to a lot of you - I'm a senior in college and I'm going out of my way to visit teachers from high school. Let me fill you in on a little secret:
Perry has the best teachers ever.
I'm not exaggerating. I'm serious. Our schools are mediocre in that they don't always offer everything and they're sometimes a bit rundown, but I can tell you that the teachers do everything in their power to make it worthwhile for us. It gets a little hard when the students don't care because these subjects they're teaching are what these teachers fell in love with in high school and spent their entire college career soaking up in order to teach others about it in hopes that they, too, will fall in love.
These teachers are the kinds that push you to your limits just so you know become all that you are. They want to know what you're doing after you leave their class. They're going to be there if you need something or want to talk, even after years.
One of my teachers put it this way today: "We're you're base community. I don't know about you, but that's comforting to me. Even if we don't talk every day, you know you can come to me or I can come to you and if one of us needs something we will work together as hard as we can to make that happen."
I promise you that's what it's all about.
Small group. Church family. Town/city family.
We need it. God's called us to build each other up, support each other, and be community. Acts 4, Galatians 5, Ephesians 2, Luke 14. All of these talk about reaching out to others, including others, building community.
I'd move back to Perry just to send my kids to these schools.