May 27, 2009

We Love Our Job

Today marks our official complete recovery from last weekend.  It took three days to recover - including Monday when we slept until noon, stayed in our pajamas all day and caught up on Lost (¡¡¡GREAT season finale!!!).  The reason behind all this resting is that we took the kids on a retreat.  We loaded 21 hormone crazed teenagers onto a bus Friday afternoon and drove them two hours into the desert, where we stayed in a small little town equipped with a very reasonably priced retreat house (cold showers and broken bathroom doors included).  Retreats are probably one of the most work intensive things we do here, but one of our favorite parts of the job, because they have such a positive impact on the kids.  This retreat's theme was "Conversion" and we focused on creating an atmosphere where the kids could feel the presence of God and experience a true conversion in their hearts.  Some may think we have high hopes, but with lots of prayer, support and help from a good team, God can do all sorts of wonderful things.  The weekend's highlights were testimonies from David, Felix (remember him?) and a recovering drug addict.  They talked about their own conversions and how they have changed due to the power of God in their lives.  God really touched hearts with the talks, as many of the kids could relate to the stories of drugs and violence prevalent in their lives today.  Their stories, combined with time away from the "real world" to reflect had a wonderful effect and we brought the kids home on Sunday afternoon, rejuvenated and ready to live their lives for Christ.  We'll see where it takes us.

We arrived home at 3 pm and quickly remembered that we had an activity at 4pm.  We were exhausted and sleep deprived and thought about canceling it. But, ten minutes before the appointed time, we saw a group of kids gathering outside the church gates and ready for their activity!  Last week, we told the kids from our pre-teen group that we would be having a "secret meeting" the next week and that they should bring a walking stick and a back pack with snacks.  The kids knew immediately what they would be doing and didn't fall for our sneakiness at all. With all their excitement, we couldn't cancel, so we loaded up our own backpacks and took them on a hike up the hills around the chapel. David started the group off, stopping at a couple of houses to pick up kids who were lagging behind.  Anna snuck ahead and built a fire.  The kids were stoked to see the fire (and very impressed with her girl scout fire building skills).  We all sat around, talked and shared the snacks that they had brought.  Besides being a lot of fun, the kids learned that they liked walking together much better than walking alone and that God was there to help them when they got tired along the way.

It was a good weekend.  Here are some pictures to prove it:

1 comment:

stephanie garcia said...

Wow, you guys sure deserved to crash! I am thoroughly impressed by your energy (still recovering mine since the pneumonia scare.) The picture of the teens hiking the sandy hills in the distance is pretty impressive! :)