12 CYIA Students! 3 Interns! 2 Kitchen Volunteers! 5 Staff Members! 1 CEF Director from Belize!
The week has kicked off with a lot of excitement and nervousness from everyone involved. Yet each person that is here has come as a result of a desire to share the gospel with children all around Montana.
Monday morning Dave tested the teens’ determination to be here by waking everyone up at 6:00 to immediately come to the gym area. No changing clothes (except to get decent), no brushing hair, not even any deodorant. They came as they are. same as how they come before God.
They were then woken up by some quick exercises and a game of lighting.
Things calmed down again as we prayed through the prayer lessons for the 5 Day CLubs this summer. Sometimes we prayed in groups. Other times we all prayed out loud at the same time. We learned to pray for each other and various ways of how we can pray for each other.
We were all allowed to get dressed and ready for breakfast, then the lessons for the day started.
The purpose of this first day is to challenge the teens in their faith and ensure that their trust is in God as they start training.
Each session involved going through several verses multiple times, each time from a different perspective. Dave, Chris, and the interns came up with something to help with this called the 5 Ps.
Pray. Prepare. Practice. Present. Persevere.
These were created to help the process of learning the lessons for 5 Day Clubs. Yet they also apply to trusting God and standing firm.
Along with each lesson the teens had fun doing various activities that illustrated the point being made in each session. These activities included blindfolds, rope, parachutes, bubble balls, and tying up staff members.
Sometimes they were learning leadership skills, sometimes the teens were learning to work as a team. The bubble balls became a fun illustration of the armor of God.
The last activity encouraged the teens to serve each other as we all washed each other’s feet using baby wiped. This was also a time to encourage one another and pray for each other. It was amazing to see everyone working to encourage each other and build each other up.
The day ended with each person sharing how they had been challenged that day around a campfire. I don’t think I can put into words what it was like to be with them around that fire. Everyone had something personal to share and open up about. Tears were shed, hugs were given, and each personal challenge was prayed for.
The entire experience has left the group ready to move forward, striving together, to begin training. We all know that it is going to be hard, and many are still nervous, but the teens are no longer trying to do it with their own strength. Instead, they are moving forward with God’s strength.