Monday, June 11, 2007


I cannot explain to you how pleased I am about how everything went on the retreat. Thank you so much for praying for the success and that God would be glorified and continue to be glorified in the students. Everything we did flowed very nicely.

We started out on Wednesday morning leaving for Mazatlán. In the van, we put the students to work right away having them answer the questions, “What are the problems I see in the world, country, town, church in general, local church, our youth group, and themselves?” This was to get them thinking along the lines that there are problems all over just like Nehemiah saw the problem with Jerusalem not having walls. Nehemiah didn’t just sit around; he did something about it (to make a long story short).

We went right in to the first study about Nehemiah’s devotional life once we got to the Hotel after breakfast. The first thing that Nehemiah did before he did anything, throughout the book, was pray. Our next study was about how he put his burden into action. We then had some activities on the beach and hiked up to what is now the highest functioning lighthouse in the world. We talked about the opposition that Nehemiah faced throughout his journey, even before he started and all the way to finishing the walls. The next day we talked about the completion of the walls and how Nehemiah did some follow-up as we see in the final chapters.

In the end, as we were tying everything together, we looked at how Nehemiah’s burden was really the people who had no wall around their city. Nehemiah saw a need, did something for the people, and then was able to speak into their lives. With that in mind, we have challenged these four students to put together a day camp for the new 7th grade students (about 10 of them) who will be entering the youth group this summer. As we were discussing this, I was really impressed to see that they understood the vision, saw the need, and got excited about it. There was a little bit of nervousness, but they are charging forward and it’s a lot of fun to see happen.

It was a great two days and we all wish we could do it again next week! We had absolutely no free time until we finished with our activities and studies on Thursday afternoon. Before heading back to Cofradía we spent a few hours at a big water park to have some fun.

Thanks again for your prayers; it was a great success because the hand of the Lord was upon us.

Here are some pictures of the retreat:

Planning time during a group activity.
Blindfolded, they had to make a square with the rope. This attracted the attention of people as they walked by. Some would stay for a few minutes and watch; vendors, tourists, etc.
Finished! Great job!
The World's highest functioning lighthouse. We hiked up the hill for our third study; Opposition.
Hiking up the hill. It was a great tangible experience of overcoming opposition!

At the top...finally!
The only picture of an actual study.
It's been a few days now since we've returned. It is amazing to me to see the difference in these students! They are really working hard on their project and are stepping up as strong leaders in the youth group. I've had a chance to talk with them individually and they all say that this is something they needed and it was time for them to take another step in their walk with God.
Praise God, to Him be the glory! This is so exciting!

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