Back in August, Lauren, Laura and I - along with our friends Caroline and Carol and Will and many others - participated in the Senior High Discovery Weekend. It was so special to be working on a retreat with my girls. On Friday afternoon, I drove through Chick-Fil-A while ordering from text messages and picked up dinner for the four of us (Laura, Lauren, Carol and me). I met the girls at the church and loaded our stuff into my Escape. Just let me tell you that we had a ton of stuff. Laura brought a big box fan and I had a giant prayer poster and we all had an overnight bag PLUS either a sleeping bag or sheets and pillows. I so wish I had taken a picture of all the stuff crammed into my car!!! After loading, we headed off to Camp Springville - about 30 or 40 minutes from church.
On Friday night, it was just the leaders - we gathered together and went over the plan for the weekend and we had a time of prayer and prayed over each one. I was the prayer "person" for the weekend which was wonderful - spent lots of time with God AND got to experience all that was going on and soak up some of that young energy. On Friday night, the leaders also had communion together. It was funny because when we went to bed, there were only the four of us in our big old log cabin.
I'm sticking this right in the middle!! (before you get tired of reading) If you would like to watch a video recap of the weekend - check out this link!
It is amazing to me to be a part of such an incredible church and an incredible group of leaders.
On Saturday morning, about half of the group had to get up early and drive back to Birmingham to gather up the senior high students. Laura was one of the van drivers so she had to go but Lauren, Carol and I stayed at camp. Those of us "left behind" ate breakfast and helped get everything set up for the 160 students.
I'm just talking all about the weekend in between these fun pictures. The camp had some amazing water games and slides and a zip line (not in these pictures). So . . .back to the weekend. The students arrived late morning - it was a huge caravan - Steve Lloyd was driving the Scout Bus, there were folks like Laura driving the church vans and there were some "mama/daddy" vehicles, too. It takes a lot of vehicles to transport that many students!!!
The students gathered in the big auditorium and we "whooped and hollered" and welcomed them to Discovery. The main scripture for the weekend was the scripture about the talents - you remember the story? The master gave five talents to one servant, two talents to another servant and one talent to the third servant. Several different young adults gave talks on different aspects of this story and then in between talks there was worship music and lots of fun games. Let me just say that we packed a tremendous amount into 24 hours. We worshipped, we listened, we prayed and prayed some more, we laughed, we ate camp food (see picture below of mystery meat), we ate junk food, we woke up the students for a giant planned pillow fight (the them was AWAKE remember?), we played in the water, we worshipped some more, we heard some more amazing talks - the forgiveness talk was really amazing (and so were many of the others!) We oooohed and aaaaahed over fireworks. We deepened friendships - among students and students and leaders and student and leaders and leaders. It was a great weekend. I hope they ask me again next year :-)
This was my view for a large portion of the weekend. I took the picture while on my knees in front of our "altar" area. Before each talk, the speaker would come into the prayer chapel and kneel (on a sofa cushion!!) and Caroline and I would pray over them. After the speaker left the room, I would kneel and pray again for the speaker and would pray for each of the students and adults who were with us at camp. Then I would slip across the hall and listen to the talks. . . then slip back into the prayer chapel and pray some more.
This is a horrible picture - it was pretty dark in the room - and I took it with my phone with no flash on - but this is Drew. I love working with Drew and he and Laura also have a fun relationship from working retreats together. I am honored to work every day with Drew's wife, Haley, and I think they are such a special family!!
Our youth minister also happens to have an art degree . . .and he was drawing a picture. He always draws upside down or sideways so you can't tell what he is drawing and then he flips the picture at the end.
The students were singing and worshipping while David drew the picture.
The camp is a beautiful facility.
Once again, it was wonderful to be a teeny tiny part of such an incredible weekend. I love watching God show up and show out and he certainly did that during this weekend.
one last thing - the original discovery weekend is for junior high students "run" by senior high students. Our church does that in the springtime - the jr. hi students stay at the church and the "leaders" stay in homes. Our church came up with the senior high weekend and it is always right at the beginning of the school year - gives them a boost of God's love before they are thrown into all that peer pressure.