Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Middle School lock-In

Everyone loves playing in the snow!
 Ahhh middle schoolers. I actually with every ounce of my being love, Love, LOVE that I am called to walk alongside youth in middle school, and every day I give thanks that I am no longer in this strange point in life. Middle school is such an awkward time in life and I am thankful to be able to come along side these youth and remind them that they have been fearfully and wonderfully made, despite what their peers tell them, that they are loved unconditionally and showered in grace, despite what they hear from the world, that they are enough, despite what they may hear from who knows where. I love middle schoolers.

One of our prayer stations Friday night
This past weekend I was suppose to head out on a one retreat at LutherCrest Bible Camp (BEAUTIFUL CAMP) and so some of my most favorite colleagues (we represented 4 different churches)  myself, and 27 of our favorite (they all are our favorites) headed down to Alexandria. We spent the night in prayer, playing tons of games, telling stories, taking a break from the world around us, the next morning we woke up ate some amazing food, did devotionals, played some more games, ate some lunch, and then channeled our inner first grader and played in the snow for a couple of hours. We packed up the vehicles and we were off and headed back to Brainerd. Sounds simple. The roads were awful. We made it twenty miles before we started calling churches to see if we could crash on their floors for the night.

After calling a couple churches we got a hold of someone who welcomed us with open arms. We spent the night at First Lutheran in Parker's Prairie. Phone calls to parents, senior pastors, and our own families were made and we began to pull tricks out of our sleeves. We played games, we ate pizza at this wonderful little pizza parlor, we worshiped, and we slept. We had an outstanding time! I am so very thankful for my colleagues, I am convinced that I have the world's best, we thought we weren't prepared for this experience. We hadn't packed anything to entertain the middle schoolers, we had no supplies, we had no food, we had no plan. I am certain however when our kids look back in this weekend, it is this portion of the weekend they will remember.

Making one of our pizzas, it was fun to watch the man throw the pizza
dough high in to the air to create the crusts
The youth were amazing and my colleagues and I were prepared, we had the gifts and the talents we needed to pull off a great overnighter with no supplies. We had years of experience of playing games, we executed worship with no music or guitars, we had plenty of food, and a good time was had by all! It was crazy and chaotic and today I still feel a bit tired from the experience, but thankful for the safe travels, flexible youth, and my colleagues.

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