Well it’s that time of year yet again- springtime. The flowers are bloomin’ and the sun is shinin’ but it’s also that time of year for the Jr. High Advance. Coming from someone who has had their fair share of experiences with different retreats in the youth group , I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this one. From the people to the experiences, to climbing a wall, to hearing our own Robby John speak- everything about it was awesome. The climbing was fun and all but what really stuck out to me was the way the seniors and even those in tenth grade took charge. They really led and were good examples for not only our Jr. High students but also for the incoming 6th graders. Watching students overcome fears by taking on the wall and the ropes courses really impressed me. There were some laughs for sure but just watching some students literally shake as they crossed the course or even tackled the wall was really inspiring. Often I think we are fearful of different challenges in our life and rarely do we just grab the bull by the horns. We aren't prone to take the fear head on. For some of the students this was something that was a great challenge. The fear of heights is a real thing for them and they conquered it. But I don’t think it was just them conquering their fears by themselves. I believe it is something much bigger than the individual. It was a team effort. It was the encouragement of others and the positive atmosphere that really propelled these students to take on the climb to conquer the fear that lay before them. Which speaking of, the theme for the weekend was "The Climb" There is a community available to us in our individual climbs. Robby did a great job of giving great illustrations of how one goes about successfully making our individual climbs. Beginning in Genesis and ending with the perfect example, Jesus, Robby brought a real excitement to his different illustrations as he taught to the students during the weekend.
Overall I would say being asked to chaperone a retreat like this was great. But I was struck by the sense of community I still see in the students of WSYG. It makes me so proud to have been a part of something so great. The spiritual climbs the students will face will only get harder with time but with the experiences they share in and community will only make the journey easier.
From the youth minister
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