Sunday, July 22, 2007

A weekend away

On Thursday afternoon, I headed to Orlando with a group of 17 middle school and high school students, along with 7 leaders. I wasn't thrilled about being away for a whole weekend, while I should be finishing wedding plans, but it proved to be an enjoyable time.

We set off on our journey and made a stop in Avon Park, FL, at Jared's parents house, for dinner. They grilled out, and it made for a good stop on our trip. Once we finally made it to the hotel, we checked into the hotel, and had our first session. The entire trip was based on a the verse in Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

The first night, Levi shared the vision for the weekend and gave an overview of what each of the sessions would be about.

On Friday morning, we went to Universal Studios. This was supposed to be a full day event, but due to the heat, we cut the day short, and were home by 2. We relaxed until dinner and then after dinner, Levi spoke about the idea of 'denying your self' and we had a foot washing time. It was really neat to see students go to other students who they might have had some conflict or issue with and offer to wash their feet. I was really proud of them. This was a great preparation for what was to come on Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning, we left at 9 am to head to a non-profit organization called Give Kids the World. It was so great to see our students die the themselves to help children who were terminally ill. There are so many stories that I can tell, but there was one kid who truly affected a bunch of us. I will call him J. A bunch of us had contact with J, throughout the day. He was a 12 or 13 year old boy who was obsessed with riding the train with Jared, and Levi. He would push the horn button, pretty much the whole time that he was riding with them. J brought his sister to ride the carousel, which Alex and I were running, and he told me that he didn't want to ride, but he certainly wanted to push the start button. We chatted for a while. I found out that he had arrived at Give Kids the World on Thursday, with his family. They were from North Carolina, and he was having a blast. Drue walked into the carousel area, and J said "I remember you." Now Drue had never met J or seen him before, but he was great with J. J wanted Drue to walk with him to go to the arcade, and even though, I could tell that Drue didn't want to go at all, he died to himself. and went anyway. I was so proud of him. I could tell that this would be something that would be so much more life changing for Drue, then it was for J. I was right...

We all had an amazing time on Saturday during the day, and we were exhausted, but had a debriefing session that night. It was so awesome to hear the hearts of our students. I know that Todd was worried that the kids wouldn't 'get it', but after hearing what they had to say, it was clear that they did. It was awesome to have students understand the fact that yes, it was awesome that we could help children with terminal illnesses, but we all have friends who don't know Christ, and they too, have a death sentence. It was awesome to hear the kids understand that their friends were 'terminally ill' without Christ.


Students, I am so proud of you. Keep putting yourselves in the cabinet, and others up on the pedistal to shine the light on them. I love you guys!


Tessa said...

Wow. Amen, sister. It really was an AMAZING weekend away.
I find it hard to continue putting myself in the cabinet and putting others in the trophy case to shine for the world, even though it is my very own quote. I loved the following session after GKTW. (Or as I call it, GTKTW. lol) It was amazing.
I am so glad i got to share that lovely weekend with you, roomie!
Love you,

Laura said...

Tess, Keep doing your best to make others shine.

I don't like when people try to call it GKW. HA.