Hello everyone, and welcome back to another post! I have been on a slight hiatus, which is due to a truly wonderful weekend I had spending time with God. My church, along with three others, spent MLK weekend at the Word of Life camp in Hudson, Florida. This was my first retreat ever, and it differed so much from the mission trips I was used to. When we arrived, it was like a big square of property lined with cabins with different countries on them. My friends and I moved in fast, and quickly set out to explore what the camp had to offer. A ninja course, a beautiful worship area, and a comfy-cozy dining hall were among the main things I took notice to. We were quick to take pictures everywhere we could, and I was so glad to have stuck to my goal of taking them with friends. Every day was pretty much the same: Wake up, breakfast, Session (worship), Color Team competitions (each person was sorted into a different color group of about 20 that competes with other groups in challenges for points), break of into small groups, free time, lunch, more games, dinner, Session, small groups, some sort of night activity, etc. A LOT packed into three days.
The theme of the whole trip is Waves. It describes how life is full of waves that you have to conquer before you reach God. Some waves could be easy to ride, others are overwhelming and may drag you down. The first worship session we had was all about decisions. Life is full of decisions that you have to make. Some are quite simple to make, such as what clothes to wear in the morning. Others, however, require a lot of thought and attention, such as committing your life to your faith, letting God into your life fully.
The second session talked about identity. The youth leader talked about how everyone is seemingly playing “Headbands” with the world. Everyone is constantly asking, “who am I?” “What is my value?” “How do others define me?” out into the world. We expect our friends, social media, teachers, even parents to tell us who we are. We can’t let the world tell us who we are, because it’ll only lead to disappointment and exhaustion from trying to fulfill what people say we are. We are named by God, and we find our identity through Him. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, crafts with unique purposes and gifts. Nothing else in the world can define that.
2 Corinthians 5:17
1 Peter 2:9
The third session spoke about selflessness. Giving up everything for God, even the parts you want to control yourself. Selflessness takes sacrifice, and using your talents to make a difference in someone else’s life is a prime example. We can’t have the ME mindset that everyone seems to emulate these days. In the end, it only leaves you empty and without true fulfillment. In order to receive God’s full attention and to have a life full of happiness, we must give Him ours.
The last theme was surrender. This was a truly pivotal moment in the camp, because it taught us that we needed to again, give up parts of our life that don’t include Him. Parts we want to keep to ourselves because it gives us a sense of control. I didn’t write much for this night because I was so captivated by the message/worship songs.
Color Teams: As I mentioned earlier, each person was separated into different color groups that compete in competitions for points. I was placed into Team Yellow, which is one of my favorites! At the end, there was a big competition called Color Wars, which consisted of a colored powder fight, colored shaving cream twister, and tug war verses all the different teams. In the end, Red team won, but it was still so so much fun!
All in all, it was the perfect way to get away from all the worries of life and truly connect every day life with the message of God. Being served at the retreat makes me so pumped about the mission trip ahead, where I can serve others with Him in mind.