Another busy busy day with classes nearly the whole day as well as lots of people in at break and lunch time. As the week goes on we're seeing quite a few return visits during the voluntary times of break and lunch. Students are coming back to do some of the activities for a second or third time, in particular the 'quiet tent'. When asked about how Sanctum is making an impact on them, we're hearing one response repeated often and independently; "Sanctum is a place where I feel free to let out my true feelings." Others express a similar sentiment but in slightly different terms. Further conversations with them reveals that one of the key values, as understood by the students, is that it's a place where they can be themselves without any pressure to conform to the expectations of others and where they can express some of their deeper feelings and emotions without judgement.
Some of the things written up in the "Sorry" activity are profoundly moving. Several boys have said that the forgiveness activity has made a real difference to them and allowed them to move on regarding some things from the past. Most of these are Year 8 and Year 9 boys – not generally known for their openness in such matters.
This afternoon some of the Year 12 RS group returned for a third time. They're studying "religious experience" and this time we simply spent an hour chatting about the experiences we've had as Christians and how they have affected and influenced our faith, including discussion about answered and unanswered prayer.
After a slow start, the Visitor Book is starting to fill up. Here are some of the comments received so far:
Very good and much better than I expected. I was surprised at what I felt.
Good personal and spiritual experience.
Thank you. I found this calming and was able to fully understand my problems. This has helped me greatly.
Third time I came. Still as good as ever.
One more day to go. We're going to miss these guys!