It is the most beautiful thing that can happen to us. Meeting a student who, after a long story about stress, writing a thesis, feeling misunderstood, loneliness and running up against her own rocks, crying says: “I love coming here. I can be myself, I don't have to keep up .. it feels like home. ” Then shivers run down my spine and I feel: “This is pastoral care. This is full student ministry in what it may, must and wants to mean. ”
A lot is written about it, but if you experience in practice that (young) people get into a mangle because of what university, international studies, expectations of your parents, of your country and of yourself do with a student, it will always come. just inside. Can't this be prevented? Why does this have to take place? How can we get her out of here? Where are her chances to become stronger and not to keep struggling with everything that keeps her from her own healthy lifeline?
It's complicated, partly due to the fact that she comes from a country that has high expectations of her and her study results. A country that puts pressure on her through her parents and does not understand why studying in the West has influenced her. And she herself notices that this has happened, but is not yet able to explain it properly to her parents and to her country.
Support in putting things in order and identifying dilemmas. Helping to identify the different sides of this complex story and to be able to make choices. Giving the opportunity to tell her story, shed a tear and receive a hug. Indicate that it is good what she chooses, that it is her choice, the path that she now wants to go. Say and make this happen that she can come to us - in this case at the table - for a conversation and for support.
At home you think - hopefully - of safety and security, of love and being seen
Coming home is perhaps the most important thing for every person. Coming home has many components, of which coming home to yourself is perhaps the most valuable. But yes, who am I? Where, how and to whom do I come home? Seeking and finding yourself is a lifelong process, I think. In your childhood, adolescence and student days you will be provided with a lot of norms and values, principles to which you can relate. General important matters get a relationship with you as an individual, as a person. Sometimes you can do something with it, sometimes not (yet). What you do with it determines who you become as a person.
Experiences with people, with processes, with things that take place in your life, these norms and values will then deliver meat on the bones. Your life is colored with those experiences and with how you deal with them. The coloring is sometimes random, sometimes via a chosen path, but a lot just comes to us in our lives. And you have to deal with that deal.
You learn how to deal with different experiences along the way. In fits and starts and through damage and shame you learn to deal with everything that comes your way. Sometimes you have to figure it out for yourself, sometimes others live it up and you can follow in their footsteps. Sometimes you want to follow, but you still choose a different turn. “Because that feels better”, we often say. What that means exactly also makes who you are.
You develop qualities such as 'being there for someone else', 'standing up for yourself', 'being friends for each other', 'appreciating family ties (or not)', 'modesty' and therefore also 'coming home'.
When you come home, or rather, if you feel like you are coming home somewhere or to someone, then that person or situation gives so much recognition to what you think living is and what matters, that you give it the title HOME. At home you think - hopefully - about safety and security, about love and being seen, about being important and important to the other. Where you can be yourself and where you are known.
At home they sometimes know who you are even better than you can put into words yourself. That is why coming home is so important for every person. When an institution like RAPENBURG100 'feels like home', then we - together - do something very good: lead someone to his or her own self. And we should not only be very happy, but also very grateful for that.