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Winter Retreat '09

I was hoping to tell about the Winter Retreat (Ski Trip) earlier this past week, but after being gone for a week I felt swamped by work and just exhausted early in the week. I took some time to rest up and catch up... and now here's a little recap of last week's youth trip:

  • We couldn't get the bus going. We were suppose to leave TuesAM at 7 and couldn't get the bus running. Batteries, a solenoid switch, some creative wiring, a little motor oil, and 7 hours later, we were up going.

  • Since we couldn't leave as planned, we managed to get our reservations backed up a day (CTI, you're awesome!), travelled part way Tues, the rest on Wed, skied Thur & Fri, and came home on Sat. So, we ended up adding an extra day to the trip - which made it feel soooo much longer. It ended up being a good thing as far as the weather goes, because we got all kinds of snow Wed night and Thurs. We couldn't have planned it any better.

  • Thursday, on our way up to the ski slopes, we pulled over to let the snow plow by. When pulling back into the road, the church van got stuck in the ice -tires spinning, sliding, going nowhere. We tried adding people to the van for weight. A couple of us tried pushing. Then, the bus got stuck in the ice, too! Finally, we had everybody in the bus move to the back over the rear axel for weight to help with traction. This got the bus going and we eased the bus up to the back of the van, bumper to bumper, to push the van up the hill. Crazy!

  • The hotel we stayed at was in Canaan Valley State Park. These deer were coming right up to the back of the hotel and youth were feeding them Doritos. From their mouths. They were holding the chips in their mouths and the deer would come nibble them away. Awesome fun.

  • An indoor pool and ten minutes in a hot-tub are great when the outside temps are in the single digits! (and should be a part of every youth trip)

  • I seriously may have taken one of the greatest group of adult volunteers on this trip ever! Despite the hurdles, obstacles, and crazy adventures, they were all so helpful, on top of things, and willing to jump in to do what needed to be done. I will continue to brag on these folks! Thank you guys for all you did (and all you do) for our youth.

  • The ministry times were good. Our theme was "jump!" and we broke it down like this:
    1) Everybody Jumps (Jn8:31-32, I jumped on a little exercise trampoline, everybody believes something, so the question is what -or who- are you jumping for?)
    2) Take a Leap of Faith (Mk10:48-52, Bartimaeus jumped to Jesus, will you passionately follow Jesus?)
    3) Help Others Jump (Acts3:1-10, you have something to offer, God will use you -even young- to help others follow Jesus.)

And it all looked a little something like this...

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