Friday, January 29, 2010

A Winter Youth Retreat That Changed Lives


Last weekend I took my students from Third Lane Youth to a Winter Youth Retreat in Carlisle, PA. In my ministry experience I have gone to this event many times either with students as a youth pastor or when I was student, with my youth pastor. Same retreat. Same place.

I remember responding to an altar call, looking for hope, and discovered a new found Glory.
I found Jesus. I found Joy.

It was real joy for the first time in my life, and a real Jesus that I could call my God; not my parents God.

I'll never forget that weekend when I was 16. I came back home different. People could see a difference. My family definitely could. Especially my mom. I remember her telling me that the happy boy that used to smile and laugh all the time came back. Well, having braces and a Michael Strahan sized gap in my teeth would definitely make a teenager hide that smile. But I know what she meant.

Winter Retreat changed my life when I was 16.

Winter Retreat changed a life of another 16 year old this year.

This particular student is a type of guy who at times prefers being behind the scenes instead of being an up in front of people.

The last night of the retreat he stepped out his comfort zone and stepped into the Holy Spirit's comfort zone.

When a lot of the students left at the end service to run to the snack bar, he lingered at the alter and got his fill in a different type of way. When he returned to his seat I asked him, how was it up there?
He said he was baptized in the Holy Spirit and started speaking a different language, and just felt lead to start praying for people.

Awesome.

If you know this student well, this is not something that he would normally do, not because he doesn't like praying, but stepping out is not his thing, it's scary, for this 16 year old and for many of us.

"Faith doesn't count unless you do something about it in your behavior and in your actions." a quote from of Hope International Ministries member Dr. Basil Jackson who is currently serving in Haiti.

Oh to have faith of Dr. Jackson.

Oh to have faith of a 16 year old.

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