Sunday, February 12, 2006

WOW!! What A Great Time With The Students!

WOW!! What a great time with the students! Youth Pastors Brad and Dave from Houston, Texas came and led a three day Student Leadership conference for the youth of Cofradía and Arrayanes. It was a great way to give them a boost for the time that we’ll be gone, and the material is so applicable to this group right now that when we come back I plan to review these things with the youth as we “re-group.” I am so excited for the future of our youth group.

On Thursday night, we had dinner at Pastor Goyo’s house with 10 students and four of us adults as Brad and Dave shared with the youth the importance of being a servant to others if we want to be a leader. Just as Jesus demonstrated service to his disciples on the Thursday before he died at the last supper, Brad and Dave re-enacted history as they washed our disciple’s feet. It was a little awkward for some of the students, but they were all willing to take of their shoes and sandals and allow Brad and Dave to wash their fungus filled feet….(just kidding!!!) most of them had clean feet. After the foot washing we ate dinner and talked for a while, then we had communion. It was a great start to a great three days.

Friday evening we had another meeting in our house. This time we had 12 students and 6 adults. Unfortunately, Pastor Brad hadn’t been feeling well all day, so he stayed in bed to rest. Meanwhile, Pastor Dave shared with the students about Spiritual Warfare. He touched on some important issues like knowing who your enemy is, how he comes at you, how to defeat him, and what we have for armor. This meeting started a little cold with minimal participation by the students. Dave decided to take a quick 5 minute break to hang out a bit, and after that, the students started to share. Not all of them, but more than before. They were more comfortable. I was excited about this time because Dave mentioned a few things that tied in perfectly with our “Love Waits” conference a couple of weeks ago. As the evening was coming to a close, we decided to put on the movie, Island and focused on the point that many of the people were deceived into believing a lie that they thought was true, just as the enemy does in our own life. What a great night!

Saturday morning’s Leadership classes were postponed until the afternoon because now Pastor Dave was sick. Praise God! He knows the reasons for all these “miss-haps” and turns them into something good. We started in the afternoon at the church in Arrayanes and talked about Team Building, Personal Disciplines, and having an Accountability Partner. Excellent material that ties is so much to what we’ve been teaching them here. The icing on the cake was after the classes: a Worship Experience. With the room filled with candles and the lights dimly lit, we gathered in close to worship God. This was the first time we’ve had worship time with the youth with just me singing and playing on the guitar. It wasn’t about being in the band, it wasn’t about trying to hit the right notes, and it wasn’t about showing people what you can do. It was all about God, and singing praises to him. After about 15-20 minutes, the students went around to different “stations” to experience God in different ways. There were various different things to do: there was a place to write a letter to God, whether it was a love letter or just wanting to share with him your heart; there was a place to write down your prayer requests on a big piece of paper hanging on the wall; there was a place to write out your sins in the sand, then wipe them away…what an awesome example of what Christ does; there was a place to draw and paint pictures; and a place to make sculptures out of play-dough. I was so mad at myself for forgetting my camera. There was some really neat things going on and I wish a had an image to share with you…not just to share with you, but to remember better of our time with God. The talent in our group surprises me, the sculptures were phenomenal! One of them made a sculpture of Jesus on the throne holding two little kids sitting on his lap. Another sculpted a hand and letters in it saying, “You hold me in your hand.” I wish that you all could have seen it. It was an incredible night and the youth had a genuine experience with God. This is something I’ve been praying for, for a long time. I pray that it continues. We will do this again when we return to Cofradía this summer.

WOW!! What a great time with the students!

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