Well, we all made it safely to Oostburg, WI last night. The drive went extremely well and we arrived in Oostburg in time for their evening worship service. Not only were we able to worship with them last night, but they also took the opportunity to commission then entire group for the week. So, it was a great way to kick the week off as a whole group.

After the commissioning the teenagers took some time to get set up in their rooms and then we went over some of the logistical information for the week. We also took some time to “set the tone” of the week right away at the beginning. We encourage teenagers to be aware of the ways God is working in and through our group this week. We let the teenagers know that this week will be challenging for them–we intentionally will be pushing them out of their comfort zones. We also remind them that God will work in each of their lives this week. It’s always fun to see their faces as I give this talk. There’s a mix of anxiety about what’s to come, excitement about what God will do, and comfort in knowing God is in control of it all.

We also held our first session last night about How to Build Relationships. We are very intentional about building relationships throughout the week–relationships with one another and relationships with the people we are serving. We spend time talking about what makes a good relationship. We also spend time talking about how to have good conversations with people and then practice those conversation skills with each other. Not only is it good practice, but it’s also a great way for our group to begin building relationships with one another. I love hearing the buzz of conversations coming from the group.

We wrapped up the evening in the “youth garage” with a time of worship and a time listening to Zack share about Why He Follows Christ. It’s always great to hear the ways God has worked in other people’s lives and has brought them to where they are at this point in time. Zack showed us how God was in control over the seemingly random events of his life, using all of them to bring him to his current position of Youth Director at First CRC in Oostburg.

I’ll leave the report at that for now. I’ll try to get another one posted at the end of the day today. If you want to pray over our group, here are a few things you can pray for:

  • Pray that God would continue to meld our two groups into one and build strong relationships between them.
  • Pray that God would use our group to build relationships in the community and point people to Christ.
  • Pray that God would protect our students from any harm throughout the day.
  • Pray that God would continue to reveal himself to each student today, and throughout the rest of the week.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support over this week!