Monday, July 20, 2015

We're alive!!

I'M ALIVE! I had fully intended on posting regularly last week, despite being out of state...but life happened. I know that that happens sometimes, so I just decided to not get bummed about my lack of blogging prep and instead just unplug for the week...& let me tell you, it rocked.

For those of you who didn't know, Caleb and I were able to volunteer for a CIY (Christ in Youth) camp last week in Cleveland, TN at Lee University. To say it was amazing, inspiring, and unbelievable would be an understatement. We had the BEST time getting to know these kids on a deeper level, being challenged spiritually, and laughing more and more every day. The way the week was structured was perfect. Breakfast around 8AM, morning worship/sermon after, discussion after that, lunch, free time, dinner & then the night worship/sermon, then we'd finish out the night with small group and breaking down the nights message and what the kids took from it. Then we spent most nights telling hilarious stories, making up new games, and just enjoying time together.

We left for TN on Monday, after a group picture, of course!!
Ignore the fact that I'm shorter than most of these kids.

We got there with a little time before dinner, then had our first session and stayed up entirely too late. I taught the girls how to do the worm, and we sang karaoke for hours.

Tuesday during free time the boys entered a basketball tournament and a few of us went to cheer them on!


The rest of the afternoon was spent doing each others hair... and taking more silly pictures.


That evening rocked. We were able to sit near the front row so we had amazing seats during worship. My brother and I had a really cool moment during it that I'll forever treasure. There is something so amazing and freeing about holding someone while they go through something, both literally and figuratively. I'm so thankful for him!

Wednesday was probably my favorite day (other than Thursday, okay so all the days were great). I got to lead small group discussions and it had a lot to do with encouragement. As a group we encouraged each and every person in the room and it was just incredible. We all walked home with a letter about ourselves, each and every person wrote something sweet about everyone. It was so neat!

A few of us decided to dress up a little nicer for this night -- and that was fun. Most of the week is spent in comfy sports clothes  so it was fun to get a little dolled up!

BUT! My favorite "God moment" of the week took place on this evening. During the message there were a few "invitations" and the worship that evening was extremely emotional. I discovered a few things about the group of kids I work with and while some of the stories broke my heart, it made me realize what a difference I could have in their lives. THAT is worth every stressful moment of ministry. Every doubt I had ever had thinking "am I even making a difference?" faded away within an instant. I'm literally almost in tears just remembering the moments as I prayed with these kids, holding them while they experienced God's presence. It was overwhelming, and SO amazing! Our God is so good!!!

I'll be back tomorrow with how we spent our free time on Thursday and spoiler alert - it was awesome. Can anyone say white water rafting!?!!? ;)

11 comments:

  1. You two blend in real well with the kiddos! Glad you were able to unwind and get off social media. That's one thing I miss about us not going on a big trip this year bc everywhere we've gone, Keith has still had his phone in his hand 24/7! Can't wait to hear about rafting, I've done it before, I'm sure you had a blast!!

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  2. 1- why are all those kids giants?! ;) but really. 2- what an amazing experience! seeing God at work is the BEST.

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  3. Yay for a wonderful week!! I swear, I'm shorter than almost all of our youth students too lol!

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  4. Looks like an amazing time! I remember how fun and meaningful those types of trips were in my high school years. You are definitely making a difference!

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  5. I wondered where you were! How nice to unplug and have such a meaningful week. I used to be an adult leader for youth groups at church, and one year took a group of kids to a national youth gathering. It was a wonderful experience that I'll never forget!

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  6. This looks like the perfect excuse to unplug from blogging if you ask me. I'm so glad you had an awesome time with the kids and spending intentional time with God. It's cool that your brother was there, too! I would absolutely love to have a letter of encouragement with sweet words from people that care about me! That's not a bad idea to do for some of the people I love! Also, you can do the worm?! Can't wait to hear about the white water rafting! Glad you had an awesome week!

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  7. It is wonderful what you guys are doing! To go into ministry and allow yourselves to become a bridge between these children and God. God is amazing and wonderful. He has amazing plans for you and your husband. You guys are making a difference, no doubt about it. God bless you both!

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  8. Sounds like you had a good reason to be away from the blog! :) What a great week you had. I remember going on similar retreats when I was in high school and they were so awesome and life changing. Although we never got to go white water rafting on ours! I am a little bit jealous of that!

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  9. It looks and sounds like you had the best time and what better reason for your absence than for a week of Godly motion!

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  10. Sounds like you had a fantastic week! It looks like everyone had a great time.

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Thanks for your comments, I read and respond to every single one of them! :) Excited to get to know you!