Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Raising the Bar...

High School Retreat - Raising the Bar - was an awesome time away with 67 students. We left Santa Cruz on Friday afternoon and spent the weekend in the mountain village of Samaipata at a place called CabaƱas Traudi. The weather was set to rain for the weekend, but we enjoyed the three days without a drop.

I was privileged to share the main messages on Friday and Saturday nights and the closing challenge on Sunday morning. Friday night, the focus was Got Expectations? - challenging each of us to quit living in the chicken coop, jump the fence and soar like eagles. Saturday evening's challenge was Raising the Bar - going deeper & higher both personally and spiritually. Several commitments were made that evening for salvation and, for others, to allow Christ to not only be Savior, but Lord. Sunday's closing session was to Do Hard Things, based on many of the challenges from the book with the same title.

Arianne loves to pose for the pictures...not sure if she realizes there's a dodge ball game going on???

It was a great group of young people and leaders. In all, we were some 84 people there for retreat (not all the staff made the picture).

At the end of small group time, each group presented a skit reminding us of the dangers of the "love for something" that has gone bad.

Susan Pedraza, a senior, shared her testimony for Saturday morning's devotional. She blessed each of us as she shared what God has been doing in and through her life. An encouraging challenge!

It takes a huge amount of work to have retreat. The staff of cooks, counselors, etc. did great. I'm also SO thankful for the group of young people that are willing to not only chip in, but work HARD!

Thank you for your prayers for the last week and a half of activity. God blessed both the Spiritual Emphasis Week and the retreat that followed. Pray for our youth who made some tough, but important decisions in their spiritual lives. Also pray for those who continue to search!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Spiritual Emphasis Week...Going Well...

We're having a great Spiritual Emphasis week with Franco Salvatori. We got started first thing Monday morning with our first chapel. On Monday afternoon, the junior high students loaded up and headed to an ice cream shop to hang out and get to know Franco a little better. Afterward, we returned to the house and Franco shared his testimony with them and answered their questions about his life.
At 6:30, the high school students came over to enjoy fellowship and dinner together. 50 young people we in attendance as we ate and then Franco again shared his heart with them.
Chapels are going on each day and the young people are being challenged in their spiritual lives.
At the end of the week, 67 high school students are scheduled to go on a retreat. We're all excited about the time away and continued ministry to all involved.

Pray for the remaining chapels and for the upcoming retreat. I will be sharing on retreat about Raising the Bar! spiritually in our lives. Pray that I will be able to get all the preparations finished and that all of us attending will be open to the Lord's work in our lives.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Be Praying ... Spiritual Emphasis & High School Retreat

We're in the midst of preparations for our upcoming Spiritual Enrichment Week at the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center. I'm thankful to have Franco Salvatori return to Santa Cruz to challenge us once again. We will have special chapels each day at school.On Monday, we're also having special times with Franco after the normal school schedule. The junior high will be going out for ice cream and then Franco will share his testimony and let them get to know him better.

After we return, the high school are invited over for dinner and a special Bible study with Franco.

I'm excited about Franco's challenge to RE-Think our relationship with Christ and understand what that looks like for each of us.
On Friday, October 16, we're having a retreat with the high school students. This is not a school event, but we're excited that most of our students will be attending this voluntary time away from Santa Cruz. I will be sharing messages loosely based on the book, Do Hard Things. Franco will attend the retreat to continue ministry with the youth one-on-one and lead our worship music.

Please be in prayer for both of these events. I've been in prayer for a real revival in the lives of our youth and within our staff and leadership! I'm also praying that God's message will be clearly conveyed by both me and Franco.