Since Penn State has no fall break, students go straight through from August until today, thirteen straight weeks of class with only labor day as a respite in early September. But now they head home for a full week off. They need a break. I can definitely see their weariness in their eyes and body language over the last couple weeks. The lucky students will have little work to do over break, the unlucky ones find themselves with assignments and projects to complete as professors pile on. Either way, all of them get time at home with their families.
Of course, that can be a cause of stress too. Many students are excited to see old family and friends. Others return to difficult situations filled with conflict, inevitable harsh words and in some cases, hostility to their faith. I can think of many members of CSF whose families are lukewarm to their faith, and in some cases are outright hostile.
I will be spending time praying for the students as they go home. For some, I will pray that they can influence their families in a positive way, letting their light shine for Jesus Christ in the hopes that family members come to a relationship with God. For others, I will pray that they have patience with family members, or strength as they spend the first holiday with divorced parents and thus go to two Thanksgiving dinners. For them all I pray they get rest and also finish some work if necessary.