EL RETO 2015 - WEEK ONE
The eleventh year of the RETO (Challenge) has begun. This is a Survivor, Amazing Race, Fear Factor event geared towards reaching out to young people who are either unreached or have not made a decision for Christ in their lives. The dynamics of this outreach seep into the hearts and lives of everyone involved. God is always teaching us something; we just need to be aware of what He wants to show us. Life is a challenge sometimes. Whether we are experiencing a mountaintop high or struggling through the valley, God's desire is that we always look to Him, keeping our focus and faith in Him alone. Author Dr. Neil Anderson wrote, "People may not always live what they profess, but they will always live what they believe." Our desire is that everyone has a true biblical concept of God that allows them to live according His Spirit and Truth.
The theme for this year is "Identity". We will be talking about the identity God gives us when we surrender to Him. We become His children and receive his unconditional love. This is a very important theme, not just for the young people, but for adults as well. We are excited to see what God does during this time.
The event started out just as in the past with some team time as they chose a name for themselves that relates to the theme and Bible story they were given. During that time, they creatively designed a flag that represented them.
From the church, they ran out to the soccer field. On their way, they stopped at a tug-of-war challenge that led three teams to victory and the other three to defeat. In the soccer field, there were a number of activities in different stations such as: kicking a soccer goal, knocking down an opponent with a ball while on a balance beam, passing a slimy water balloon behind you to your teammate, running through a simple maze to fill up cups and blow a foam ball from cup to cup, and finished with a small project that encouraged them to think about their identity.
After all the activities, everyone returned to "The Refuge". The Refuge is the youth room at the church where all the teams blend together as they sit and talk, play games, watch Christian music videos, or just hang out. When we start a time of worship, the students know to come together as we all sing a couple of songs together before Pastor Luis comes to share an applicable message that has the games and themes both integrated.
The final activity is for everyone, team by team, to go beyond the curtain and privately vote for the team of their choice to do the chores and clean up. Everyone knows that the team that gets chosen also receives a clue to the hidden treasures that are revealed the final week (if found).
This year, we have six teams again:
|Sporting yellow, The Christ-Sent, with last year's champion, Karo, as the Captain.|
|Sporting black, The Recognized by God, with last year's runner-up and former champion, Luis, as the Captain.|
|Sporting red, The Brave of Heart, with multi-year runner-up, Alfredo, as the Captain.|
|Sporting green, The King's Kids, with second year Captain, Cecilio.|
|Sporting orange, God's Sowers, with first year Captain, Lalo.|
|Sporting white, The Brotherhood, with first year Captain, Keren.|
Thank you for your prayers for this event. Pray that:
- Unreached students will be reached with an understanding of God's love for them.
- Undecided students will have the courage to make a decision for Christ.
- Everyone to learn something: Non-believers, believers, Captains, Leaders, Pastors, and Missionaries.
- Courage for the captains as they grow in their leadership skills.
- Wisdom for all leadership in their communication with all students in order to show God's love to them.
- That we can take advantage of the "teachable moments" that the Lord orchestrates.
You can be part of this great event by making a special donation to EL RETO online here. Your gifts provide the resources, preparation, promotion, transportation, prizes, and the opportunity for the young people to come to this event. NOT ONE of the students is charged any kind of admission fee because we want them to come. We thank you in advance for participating with us!