The ceremony was really special. It was the first time for us to have it in our new campus theater. It required some planning. The flag of each student was hung as a backdrop. We practiced with the graduates. Which hand takes the diploma? Which hand shakes the director's hand? CC is a pro these days.
CC gave an amazing graduation message. The three most important decisions of your life are: What is your mission? Who will be your mate? Who will be your Master?
We had the amazing opportunity to have the former president of Somalia, who is the father of two of the graduates, give a charge to the students as well. It was all terribly exciting. He was late, and even though I am a mom of a graduate, I'm pretty much always needed! By someone! I like that though. So I ran to the children of the president and asked if they knew when he would arrive. They told me, "Oh, he's coming. He's just waiting on his body guards." Oh ok. Body guards. Of course. I was absolutely giddy and trying not to smile too big as I strolled back to the front row, whispering the news to all my friends, answering their questioning looks along the way. Body guards. Sure, we'll wait. He and his family entered, and I showed them to their seats. He flashed me a huge grin as I welcomed him, and I thought, "Here's my chance." He held out his hand to shake mine, and I told him how grateful we were to have him as part of our ceremony. Hey, if given the opportunity to shake a man's hand who was listed in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, I'm going to do it! His speech was wonderful. He told the story of his village and how there was no school. He began a school there, but the children would not come because they felt they needed food more than education. So, the team began providing lunch for the kids. Soon, they had more students than they ever expected. Those kids grew up to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers. He was first a teacher before moving into politics. He really spoke highly of Oasis. It was pretty cool. One thing that was particularly sweet, and I am certain cultural, is that when the graduates spoke, if they began to choke up when mentioning their families, the president would begin to clap, which the audience followed. It seemed to highlight the tenderness of the moment and offer support. That I had never seen, but I liked it. So, if you get choked up talking to me, I might just start clapping for you.
Any graduate that wished to could give a speech. Firstborn delivered a beautiful speech in which she was thankful and quite clear that it is God that is to be thanked the most. I simply could not be more proud. She graduated with High Honors (and just found out the night before!), but her heart for God, so clearly presented, makes me more proud than anything else. And yes, she got choked up a bit, and the president clapped for her.
It was a long ceremony and a hot one! But soon, all the graduates were done. They exited to "The Call," a song that holds deep meaning for our family. They threw their caps and were graduated!