Its been over a month since my last post... many AWESOME things have happened in that time. God continues to amaze me with who He is, and the unconditional love that He provides. So many times I feel as Paul did when he wrote...
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of who I am chief." I Timothy 1:15
Paul, the one who God blinded on the road to damascus. Paul, the one who had dedicated his life to suffering for the cause of Christ. Paul, the one who traveled all across the known world proclaiming the name of his Savior. This Paul, a man of God, called himself the chief of sinners... Paul knew that even though he was a man who many admired, who many loved, who many sought council from, he still was a sinner. He knew that he was no better than the next, yet he did all he could to point solely to Christ. He was a man just as others were, yet despite his shortcomings, continued to actively pursue God. He used his INFLUENCE not for selfish gain, but for the benefit of others... so that others may know God.
I was given the responsibility... no privilege... to plan and organize our winter retreat for the youth ministry at LCBC. When I was asked to do so, I jumped at the idea. I was so excited for yet another opportunity to serve. God has called me to full time ministry... someday... my heart's desire is to become a full-time youth pastor. I know God has perfect timing so for now I am soaking in all I can, learning from Godly men, and getting plugged into every aspect of our youth ministry I can... ie- the winter retreat.
The camp was from Feb. 17-19 at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp up north near the base of Mt. Baker. I was put incharge of essentially planning the entire weekend from scheduling, to finances, finding drivers, promotion, decorations, games, to communication with the parents.(btw... I am not looking for an "atta boy" or anything, I had PLENTY of help from numerous people throughout the planning process and the actual retreat!) However, I still found myself extremely stressed out. I had so many different things, and ideas running through my mind that I was beginning to forget why I was doing this in the first place. I was beginning to rely on my own strength, and not allowing God to lead. I was becoming so focused with all of the little details, that I didn't spend time bathing the weekend in prayer.
The weekend finally arrived. I was extremely excited to see all of the plans and preparations come to fruition. As soon as we arrived at the camp on thursday my mind was on a mission. I had a go, go, go... get things done mentality. A few of the youth and I headed into the chapel and began setting up decorations to set the atmosphere for the weekend. The first nights chapel was team colors night. The youth were divided into four different teams according to colors. The youth brought as many different articles of clothing they could find in their color. The night was filled with awesome worship, and incredible preaching. God brought in Ricky Ortiz, a youth pastor from River Rock Church in Camas, WA. He brought the Word, and really let the Holy Spirit lead. He challenged our youth to take a step back, examine their lives, and this ministry. He brought to light the idea of unity. God has commanded us to live unified. Share the good news of Jesus Christ, UNIFIED. If we are to do something RAD for Jesus, we need to be unified in doing it. When many are desiring to serve Jesus together, great things can be done.
The first night was a great start to the weekend for many of our youth, yet I still felt consumed with the busyness of it all...