I have always been involved with my church, taking part in activities and trips, and growing with other youths in my faith. When I was younger, high schoolers would come back from a summer week at LOGOS East, a retreat in Virginia. They were full of stories and songs and declarations of faith, and I desperately wanted to be a part of it.
Finally, the time came when I was old enough to go. Fourteen years old and about to enter my freshman year in high school, I set off to the new location for LOGOS, the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg. After a week in Virginia, I discovered a new side to myself and finally understood the excitement brought back home by so many high schoolers before me. Nothing was more important to me than the relationships I made and the delights we shared. When I returned to Blacksburg a year later, I felt like I was home.
My second week at LOGOS was as meaningful as the first. I was more experienced, having survived my freshman year in high school, and by the end of the week I had a boyfriend, and my first kiss.Two months before I was to return to Blacksburg a third time, I discovered that there had been a massacre at Virginia Tech. Watching the television screen in horror, I felt as though I was reliving September 11th all over again.
This time, however, the even struck home. In the two weeks I had spent over the past few years in Blacksburg, it had become a part of me. So much of my life was shaped by the fourteen days I spent there.
I prayed for the victims of the shooting, and I hoped that my third year in Virginia would not be any different than my first two.It wasn’t. The campus had begun to heal, and I had just as meaningful a week as ever. At the end of the week this past summer, we were informed that we will not be returning to Virginia Tech next year, but finding a new location.
Though I know it will be the same people, the same love, and the same God, I could not help but feel crestfallen at this news. Blacksburg had become a part of me, and I haven’t experienced anything as meaningful as my three weeks at Virginia Tech.
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