I returned early Sunday morning (in time to be with my fam at church) from San Diego; the first official “Together’ training weekend took place at Oakbridge Camp in Ramona. What a weekend it was! I was really pumped going into it and am even more pumped coming out of it. Of all the retreats we’ve done, this has the most “Mission51” appeal and training. Students and staff, I believe, really come home inspired to reach their home area!
I’m humbled and inspired by what I read from Jeff Lowry (a Youth Pastor who attended the retreat; you can follow their youthmark blog here):
This past weekends Together Retreat was stinkin’ awesome. From the very first worship set, to the closing prayer, it is evident that God’s hand was all over the weekend.
We learned a lot this weekend, all of us, myself included. It’s amazing to watch young people acting on their faith and sharing the G.O.S.P.E.L.. For some of my youth, I think it was their first time to do that. Sure it was a controlled environment, and nobody was going to get chased down and beaten for sharing their faith, but the butterflies that go along with it were the same, myself included. I’m a youth pastor right, I should be a natural at that. For too long, I’ve done what Brian Aaby talked about, and encouraged kids to do it, but never jumped in myself. Ahhhh, the sweet smell of conviction.
Now on to the coincidence part. This Sunday at church, we were going to have our regular youth service, but I felt this check in my spirit to stay in the main service. Would you believe God spoke to us about Love. And loving the “unloveable” and reaching out to the lost. Amazing. I don’t believe in coincidences, just that God wanted to confirm in our hearts the work He started at Together.
I also added 2 more mission trippers this weekend! Total team is up to 13 now! I am totally stoked!
Thanks Jeff! You and your group were a pleasure to hang out with this weekend! I’m praying for you mission to AZ but am even more pumped about your mission NOW in San Diego!
As you pray for Jeff and the other teams, I’d invite you to also pray for a few MAJOR details that need to be worked out for our Colorado retreat in a couple weeks!