A Weekend With My Eldest

I went on a middle school youth retreat with my 11 year old son last weekend.  I decided that because he was the youngest one on the trip that either I or daddy’O would have to go.  It ended up being me. 

My wonderful Mom offered to watch the other three for me because Daddy’O works during the night along with his regular job.  The thought didn’t even cross my mind, but when I was telling her that I wasn’t sure if he would be able to get the time off and MC wouldn’t be able to go, she offered to watch the other three all weekend.  She is awesome!

Anyway, the camp was near Trout Lake in Washington.  Not really that far.  It is called Camp Jonah.  Wonderful ministry as I would learn. 

The kids had a blast.  I didn’t get much sleep though, but the kids all had a great time.  I think all in all the weekend achieved the goals set out before the kids left on the trip.  Lots of team building, Jesus teaching, loud music and lots of fun. 

Most importantly I got to know the kids in the group.  They really are a neat bunch of kids.  Young and really trying to figure out how to work out their faithas it says in Philippians. 

On Sat. I went to see if one of our girls wanted to go save a seat for the group in the chapel for worship time .  When I spoke to her she just looked up at me like a lost puppy.  I sat down and asked her a question.  She said she was having trouble filling out the paper she was supposed to for quiet time.  She could answer the theme from the verses chosen to study, but had no idea of how to apply it to her life. 

She started talking about how she wanted to be friends with some kids at school, but knew that she didn’t want to hang out with them because of their bad habits.  I talked with her for just a few minutes and said a lot, but mostly pressed upon the fact that God would help her and she could do nothing on her own…  He is the one with all the answers.  I prayed for her and she quickly got up.   

I am committing to pray for her.  I am going to drop her a note to let her know.  She is a really good kid.  Her heart so desires to follow Christ.  It was so neat to see some of the kids trust Christ for the first time too. 

Another note I have to write is to a boy who is just a sweetie!  Two times over the weekend he offered to carry my bags.  He is one of the boys that the others look to for leadership in the group as well as one of the oldest.  My son is always coming home with stories that this boy has told.  I would get irritated in hearing them all the time and asked my son if the boy just pulled them out of thin air or what because most of them sounded ridiculous?  But, after the weekend I told my son that he could tell me any story that came out of this boys mouth and I would believe it.  He asked me why I changed my mind and I told him that it was because I knew the boys character now.  He was a boy of character and I knew that any story out of his mouth was going to be the truth.

MC had a great time too.  I didn’t ask him if I could go, but he was never bothered by the fact that I was there.  I didn’t follow him around or anything, but I did spend some time with him.  I am so glad I went, because now we can have some candid conversations over the next few months about the Jesus talks that went on in chapel.  I have a connection with him that the other parents won’t have with their kids.  It’s kinda like when I went on mission trips as a teenager and when I came back there was no one to talk to about them because no one experienced the same things that I did.  It was sad in a way, because I was so excited and no one else could feel the same excitement that I could.  But because I went, we can share in the excitement together and continue to apply the things we learned to our daily lives. 

We also got to go caving.  MC and I signed up to descend into a cave.  What I didn’t realize was that it was a mile hike in and a steep descent into the hole.  I was pooped after the whole experience.  My shoes were so slick.  I didn’t know that I was going to need spiked shoes.  The rocks in the cave were all icy from the top all the way down.  Several people slipped, but no one was hurt badly.  Once down inside of it we walked over volcanic rock for quite sometime in the pitch black.  We could see with only the light of our flashlights.  At the end we sang some songs about light and dark and then shined our flashlights on the walls.  It could have been so much more moving if the person who shared his tesimony wasn’t so creepy.  That is allll I will say about that! 

All in all a wonderful weekend with my son.

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