Posted on November 15, 2011 by Amy Tolmie
'If God appeared to you, what would you ask him?'
The postbox project gives an opportunity for students to articulate these questions, direct them to God and start to explore answers. The project works by giving each student in the school a postcard sporting the question â€œIf God appeared to you, what would you ask him?â€. By watching a specially produced DVD outlining the activity as part of a lesson or form time slot, staff direct their students to decorate the postcard with the question they would ask God. With cut-up newspaper, glue and pens flying everywhere, students have time to grapple with this question as they create a beautiful masterpiece on their postcard. Of course, some come out looking better than others, but most engage with some kind of conversation with God as they think deeply about what they are asking Him. Those who don't think he is there, ask 'why do people believe in you', those who have suffered ask 'why did you let that happen to me', those who want him to be there ask, 'where can I find you?' One student even asked, 'why do I have to wear a head scarf?'. The conversation with God has started.
Throughout the week a post box is left somewhere in the school and students are encouraged to post their questions to God. At the end of the week the postcards are displayed together (whatever the questions or the quality) somewhere visible in the school. But leaving questions as important as this hanging in the air, is not enough for these searching students. They, like us, want answers, and they had started complaining that their questions had not landed anywhere. So we ran a series of assemblies called, 'Discovering answers' where we looked at how Christians find these answers, discussed whether these answers are even available to us and shared something of our own personal journey of our questions with God.
Hanging out by the postcard display I met one student gazing up at the hundreds of brightly decorated postcards stuck to the wall. She was trying to find her offering. It said, 'will there be life after death?' As she looked around, she saw others that said a similar thing and we discussed the different answers there could be. I shared a bit about what I believed and she said a bit about what she thought. Her conversation with God would hopefully continue long after I left the school. The postbox project starts conversations with God that students want to have. It allows them to be real about their doubts and struggles, whilst searching for the possibility of a God who loves them.