Life Changing Summer - September 1, 2016
My anxiety was pretty high as we pulled out of the Allen High School tennis courts parking lot. We had 18+ hours to go with two charter busses and a twelve passenger van filled with 71 kids and leaders from our area, plus some friends from McKinney and Carrolton. I was anxious. After combing through final health forms on the bus about an hour outside of Dallas, I asked Jesus to (metaphorically) take the wheel and lo and behold, we made it!
Stepping off the bus and onto a Young Life property is almost literally like stepping from death to life, (for obvious reasons after trying to sleep on a bus). One girl tweeted, "I feel like when you get to Heaven you will be welcomed the same way you are when you get off the bus at Young Life camp."
Immediately after stepping off the busses, together with the property and YL staff at Carolina Point, and a myriad of volunteers from all over the nation, we fought for our Allen and Lovejoy friends to experience, hear, taste and see the gospel.
We heard the gospel every night at club from our camp speaker. He did an incredible job. We experienced the intimacy and tenderness of Jesus as we processed hard truths like sin and brokenness in cabin time each night. We experienced the excellence of Christ as we walked into a perfectly-set dining hall and ate with each other, family-style, every meal. We experienced the love of Christ as we laughed with the program team all week. We experienced adventure on the longest zip line at any Young Life camp, and chasing each other on go karts and mountain bikes. We saw the beauty of creation from the top of a mountain. We played frisbee golf, had an epic volleyball tournament, competed in pool olympics, paddle boarded, square danced, and even watched fireworks! It was GLORIOUS. Not surprising though, as it was our founder Jim Rayburn that coined the phrase, "It is a sin to bore a kid with the gospel."
The heart-change throughout the course of the week was visible. Walls were broken down, need was recognized and Jesus entered in. Thank you for praying for us and giving financially to help us get there. Because you have prayed and emptied your pockets, we made it there and back and we got to watch our friends choose to step from death to life. What a gift. What a gift that the Lord chooses to use us to help bring his lost sheep home. What a gift that he chooses to use a village. We are so thankful that you are a part of our tribe and for the new life that started at Carolina Point.
Lovejoy Young Life Staff
I've come to look forward to eight o'clock on weekday mornings. With warm coffee in hand, a crisp breeze on our faces and a myriad of morning sounds (from roosters and cows to construction and parking-teenagers), John Wayne and I walk and pray around the perimeter of Lovejoy High School. It started last Winter when we brought John Wayne onto Student Staff and placed him at Lovejoy. At the time, we were the only team members of Lovejoy Young Life, and meeting at the school to pray each morning seemed like the best place to start. Now, I cannot imagine how I ever did Young Life without starting my days in conversation with our Creator, begging him to capture the hearts inside of that school, while walking around it. It feels right. It feels biblical. We've prayed for relationships to grow. We've prayed for more kids. We've asked for protection and favor. We've asked God to build us a team and He is providing! We now have three faithful volunteer leaders who are eager to learn and have hit the ground running. We have consistent campaigners (small-group Bible study) for sophomore guys, sophomore girls and junior girls. We greet new faces at club weekly and are building momentum for camp trips. To say that the Lord has been faithful is an understatement. We have room to grow and goals in place to have our own Lovejoy Young Life club Fall of 2016 complete with a team of (at least) eight leaders.
Alas, in the midst of this exciting growth and preparations for more, we find ourselves in the middle of advent. We find ourselves in a season of waiting. A season of anticipation. A season of hope. I've heard advent described as this: “The King is coming. Jesus Christ has come and will come again. This is the hope of the Church whom He purchased with His blood. It is the eager expectation and desire of His people. His coming is our joy, for He is our treasure, our greatest good. Advent, formed from a Latin word meaning “coming” or “arrival,” is about the coming of Christ. It’s the traditional celebration of the first advent of Jesus and the anxious awaiting of His second. The season is a time for remembering and rejoicing, watching and waiting, and a time to reflect upon the promises of God and to anticipate the fulfillment of those promises with patience, prayer and preparedness.”
As Young Life leaders, we are constantly watching, waiting and hoping for our friends to see a glimpse of Jesus and want more. This is our hope for you as well! May you find yourself in a season of hope in the coming King. And if, perhaps, you find yourself wanting some fresh air, and are up to battle for teenagers in our community around eight o'clock Monday through Friday mornings, you know where to find us.
Lovejoy YL Staff
Young Life in Allen, TX exists to introduce kids to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.