Thursday, September 08, 2011



"To Be Continued..."

The energy continues as 64 young people (14 new students) showed up for the second week.  That makes 80 participants after two weeks.

As normal, we start by taking roll call.  Then, we immediately got into the activities as we gave points to the first team to be able to break the code to
The Chosen breaking the code

This was the sign they would see as they made their way on foot to Arrayanes, a town just under 3 miles north of Cofradía.  The sign says "Continuará" which in English means "To Be Continued."  Each sign would have an arrow indicating which way to go.  Accompanied by chaperones, the teams took off one by one according to how many points they had from the previous week.  Before reaching their destination, they will have put together a brain teaser in Cofradía's center plaza, decided between toll road and free road in order to head to the river where they were to run through a long puddle and match photos one by one.  Once they matched 10 photos, they came to a tug-of-war station in the mud where they had to wait for the next team to arrive in order to realize the activity.  The winner kept going while the looser would then wait for another team.  Once they made it out to the main road (Plan A was to cross the river, but it rained too much so we had to go with Plan B).  After crossing the bridge, they came to the ruins of an old church and had to search for their team's color ribbon amongst the rocks.  From there, they made their way to the Arrayanes graveyard to unscramble some words before they reached their final destination:  the Arrayanes baseball field.
The Heirs working on the Brain Teaser

The Prudent working on the Brain Teaser
The teams that had arrived waited for the other teams at the Arrayanes Baseball field

This week ended up being one of the most impactful teachable moments in the history of EL RETO as the last team to leave Cofradía (45 minutes after the first team left), surprisingly arrived second in Arrayanes.  It seemed pretty odd that they could pass up four other teams.  However, after chatting with the captain, we learned that they made a wrong turn and accidently skipped the two activities near the river.  This caused some tension between our staff and the team until we were able to reason with those who were upset that this is "just a game."  One of the main purposes for EL RETO is to learn about God, life, and leadership.  This was the perfect opportunity of which to take advantage.  There are many deceptive philosophies and beliefs that look a lot like the truth, but are only counterfeits.  I have written a post about this circumstance titled "The Great Deception" on our blog.  I encourage you to read about it, as "Deception" was the lesson to be taught during "Part Two".  Everything that happened that day fit right into the teaching.  We had made counterfeits of the Chinese code signs the teams worked with at the beginning.  They looked very similar to the real sign, but they were counterfeits.  Every team had gone down a wrong road, but eventually found their way back.  One team was permanently lost...ironically, their name is "The Humble."

  • First Place-3,000 pts. - The Chosen
  • Second Place-2,000 pts. - The Heirs
  • Third Place-1,000 pts. - The Servants of the Lord
  • Fourth - Sixth Place-500 pts.
    • The Prudent
    • The Faithful
    • The Humble 

The Medallion of Power was used by The Chosen at the beginning of the race to give them a 10-minute advantage over the rest of the teams.  They passed it to The Servants of the Lord who decided not to use it and passed it to The Humble who now have it in their possession.

In "Part Two" this week, we had the teams all come in together and meet in the sanctuary where we showed a PowerPoint of real signs and logos as opposed to fake ones.  This is where they found out that there were fake signs to Arrayanes.  Once we explained to them that in real life they will encounter counterfeit products, logos, signs, money, and even Christs, we had them one by one head over to the "Part Two" stage.

The lesson was all about Deception and our cry to them was that they would not be deceived by false teachings.  As they walked through the graveyard, they met up with three of our staff dressed up as people who are involved in false teachings.  Those staff members were pleading with the students to not go down the road they did (as if they had followed that teaching and already died).

Once they reached the voting room where I was, we talked with them on a serious note completely separated from the game of EL RETO.  We prayed with the teams for salvation.  There were at least one or two in each team who showed a genuine interest in accepting the Lord and their personal Savior.  We've never done this during a voting time, but I sensed it was the perfect moment for the message that was shared.

The Part Two Stage

Horacio representing someone who was involved in false teaching

Pastor Luis and Benito representing people into and influenced by false teaching

The Heirs praying to receive Jesus as their Savior.

The Servants of the Lord praying to receive Jesus as their Savior
  • The Heirs - 8,065 pts.
  • The Chosen - 6,106 pts.
  • The Prudent - 4,550 pts.
  • The Servants of the Lord - 4,002 pts.
  • The Humble - 3,239 pts.
  • The Faithful - 3,149 pts.


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