A Quick Note: I typically write the daily blog posts in the evening before I go to bed. However, I have been pretty exhausted by the time I get to bed and haven’t had the mental capacity to write the daily blog post. All of that to say, the blog posts will most likely be coming “a day late” as I reflect back on what happened.
Day two started off with a little surprise for all of the new Do Something students. They awoke to instructions regarding their morning obstacle course 🙂 Joy overflowed from their lips…..not. However, they were all good sports. On Monday mornings, the students don’t actually run the obstacle course but walk through the course, listening to specific instructions about each step of the journey. On Day 3 they will be running it.
From there the group ate breakfast and participated in a morning session about daily devotions. We like to start every week by talking about the benefits of daily devotions, the struggles with daily devotions, and the various ways to do daily devotions. It’s a great way to encourage teenagers to enter into this important practice of the Christian Life. After the session students had the opportunity to have their own time in devotions.
Along with this devotional time, we have also assigned each student a meditation verse for the week. Each student will spend fifteen minutes a morning meditating on on particular passage. The majority of the teenagers have never done scripture meditation. However, by the end of the week it becomes one of the most impactful aspects of the week.
We also spent some time talking to the students about life stories. Each of the leaders have been sharing their life stories during the meal times. Each of the students will also be sharing their life story throughout the week. Although this can be fairly “nerve wracking” for some of the students, each of the leaders will be walking alongside them to make sure it’s a successful experience. We have found that it’s important for students to take the time to intentionally think about the ways God has worked in their life over the years. It’s also a helpful tool to “have in your back pocket” as you share your faith with non-Christians. Again, this aspect of the week can bring a level of anxiety to students, by the end of the week it becomes one of their highlights. It’s exciting to repeatedly hears stories about the way God was worked in people’s lives.
After these morning sessions, everyone headed out to the worksites. The majority of our work was centered on helping some of the local group homes. One group helped to pull out some bush stumps in front of a building, clean out gutters, weed, pick up sticks, and do some mulch work. Another group spent the day doing some very tedious and detailed painting in a basement–painting around numerous pipes and wires on the walls. The other two groups spent the day at church washing and detailing vans used at some of these group homes. Once finished with the vans, this group also walked around town and handed out fliers, inviting the community to a meal on Wednesday evening.
After showering, some free time, and eating supper, the group participated in our evening session. This session is always focused on evaluating “where you are” in life and then dreaming about where God may want you in the future. It’s always a lot of fun. The students have an opportunity to look at various aspects of their life, thinking through the ways they are thankful and thinking about problems, frustrations, or concerns. Then, after spending half of the session discussing the “As-Is,” we switch to dreaming. Each of the student spent time thinking through some “fun” dreams for the future, ways they want to contribute to society, and the type of person they want to be. It’s always great to hear each student stand up and say, “I want to be the kind of person who…” It’s exciting to think about how God can (and will) use each of these students for His glory.
We wrapped up the night around a bonfire. We had the opportunity to hear from a local youth leader named Justin, who talked to our group about Total Depravity. He told us a bit of his story and helped the students to understand that any good in them came from God, not from themselves. Each of the students appreciated what he had to say.
It was another great day. The two youth ministries are blending together very well. They are quickly becoming like one youth group–functioning more and more like the Body of Christ. It’s always fun to see the Spirit do this work in the lives of students.
May God continue to work and move and use these students for His glory here in Oostburg.