Wednesday, September 01, 2010

EL RETO 2010 Week One


What a great start to this year's RETO! We had 60 students sign up on the first day. Part of winning points is to invite more students, so I expect more. I think our record is 82 from last year.
The back of this year's shirt with the RETO logo.

This year's theme is "EN BUSCA DE...??" ("In Search Of...??"). Many people are in pursuit of searching for something to fill their lives. Something that gives them peace or helps them forget their problems. This is an incredible theme that we could talk forever about!

Our desire is that this year, the students make an effort to search for Christ! Our theme verse is Jeremiah 29:13, "You will search me, and you will find me, when you search me with all your heart." We need to purposefully pursue our Maker! He will give us peace, He will fulfill all our needs. We do not need anything else but Him!

We are all so excited for this year. We expect God to do some awesome things in the lives of the youth in Cofradia, Santa Fe, Arrayanes, and Ruiz (and other towns when they arrive). I really believe that God uses everything this event is about to teach us to trust and grow closer to Him. Many of the things we learn are very practical things like how to deal with conflict, teamwork, and being a leader. One of the things I'm most excited about this year is seeing the adult staff building trust with the students. I think it's going to be a key factor in this year!

Here's the Staff...

The first week of the RETO is always the most laid back. We need to share with everyone the rules...
...then we give them just over an hour to identify their teams using a Bible story and coming up with a name from that story in relation to the theme of EL RETO--"En Busca De...??".

As the students were designing their flags, the staff got together to talk about a few things and pray...
...then, each team presented their flag, name, and story. Here they are in the order of their placing after the judging...
Los Exploradores "The Explorers" from the story of the 12 spies who went into the land of Canaan.
Los Detectives "The Detectives" from the story of Abraham's servant searching for a bride for Isaac.
Los Angeles "The Angels" from Exodus 23:20
Los Ke Creen "Those Who Believe" from the story of Lazarus in John 11.

Los Discipulos "The Disciples" from Mark 14

Los Enamorados "Those Who Are In Love" from Song of Solomon 3.

After the presentation, we started off "the search" having the students look for a very small bottle that had a message in it. The 60 students were all over looking for that tiny bottle that was hidden.
Then, Jazmin, a member of "The Disciples" found the bottle!
The message gave them 500 points and told them there were 48 more bottles hidden at the Mission Base. So, off they went.

While the students were out looking, we got prepared for Bajo La Lupa (Under The Scope). In previous years, this has been called "The Valley of Decision" and last year's "Armageddon". Here, we talk about our life "Under The Scope" as if we took a magnifying glass and looked into their lives. We give out "Filipos" (points for having a good attitude or doing something out of humility) and Punishments (the cheaters). After reading scripture from Revelation 20 and 21 where it talks about the books being opened and God making all things new as well as from 1 John 5:11-12, John 1:12 and Revelation 3:20, the students went into a separate room to vote.

This year, instead of voting for another team to do chores during the week, they were to vote for another team who they thought has had a great attitude and deserves to receive a prize--in a sense a "Filipo".

As they came up the stairs, they entered the door that's past the window you see on the wall. They walk through the lighted area (towards the camera)...
...then around the corner and through the strips of plastic ahead...
...then, they enter the voting room where they gather together, one team at a time, and vote. After voting they leave on the path to the right.
After all the teams had come in, we began to talk about our lives "Under the Scope" and the books that will be opened at the end of time.
Here, the students have to be silent and not talk. So, we had Ruben shooting the students who were talking with a water-gun. He loved it!
Then, the students came in to vote in order of how many points they had accumulated so far from first to last.

The Disciples came in and voted for...
The Angels.

The Explorers came in and voted for...
The Disciples.

In Love came in and voted for...
Those Who Believe.

The Angels came in and voted for...
In Love.

The Detectives came in and voted for...
you'll see in a sec...

Those Who Believe came in and voted for...
The Explorers.

As I read the votes, we gave the first clue to the Hidden Treasure to each team that received a vote. No one knows there are three hidden treasures except now the students who can read English and check out our blog LOL! They were asked a question and depending on their answer, they received the first clue to only one treasure.
The team to receive the most votes received a DVD of some more hints as to where the treasures are. Plus the video the staff put together as an example for this year's team project--a video of the story they chose. The staff video was of the story in 1 Samuel 9 when Saul went out searching for his dad's donkey that got lost and came upon Samuel who eventually anointed Saul as King. Here's the video...

The team that received the most votes was...

THE ANGELS! Congratulations to 14 year old first time RETO captain Mereida from Santa Fe and her team!

Many of the students are anxiously waiting for Saturday to come. This year, the clues to the treasures are in a Chinese font that I found in my computer. We will be selling letters (for points) next week.

Thank you for your prayers and continued support! All of you who pray and have given financially are taking part in reaching the lives of the youth in this area. THANK YOU!

If you would like to send a donation to support EL RETO, click here.

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