So today was my last official day on staff at NorthRock Church. If you missed the news, you can catch up here…

Anyhow, it was also the graduation service for our 2015 Echo ELN students. And they just made my year. Seriously. I love these kids.

First of all, they all stood around me in a circle and made me cry happy tears, saying many very nice things. I love these guys and have been so privileged to spend one-on-one time mentoring and coaching them this year.

Then they handed me this box, saying that it looks pretty unassuming on the outside…

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…but inside, there are many treasures — “just like you”. I opened it up in front of them and found this Cross…

Photo Jun 28, 5 38 58 PM

This card with several deeply meaningful personal notes from the students…

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And a couple of DVD’s. The first one featured a light show that Devin had mixed and performed. Devin presented all of this stuff for the group when we were at the church and called me a “brother” as he was sharing. Gosh… This was amazing…

And the other DVD had this pic and caption on the cover…

Photo Jun 28, 5 39 42 PM

For those of you that know, this is in reference to an opening line from a song off of my pop-rock album, written mostly when I was a teenager. The students made a big deal of this song all year long, making “Make That Change” — the title of the song — a catch-phrase around the church and a hashtag on social media on several of their posts.

Their mission was to “make me famous” when we went to Honduras and they christened several of the kids we worked with there by placing their hands on their heads and saying “Make That Change. Make That Change. Make That Change…” The kids were saying it back to us before we left!

Anyhow, they are still on that mission. And, so… they made this incredibly awesome music video that I will forever cherish…

Lastly, our very own Echo student, Elijah Tamez — to which I am called “Host Daddy” and Deanna is called “Host Mamma” — painted and put together this flower pot which now sits on our front steps.

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Dude, you are loved and will always be thought of as a #rockstar and our “host son”. We know that God goes with you and has more amazing plans for you than you even know!

Needless to say, we felt very, very loved today. From the Echo students and all of the other gifts, cards, hugs and kind words shared from many others at NorthRock today. YOU BLESS US!


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District

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