Who Am I? 2018 Annual Youth Retreat!
BY: NICOLENA MEOLA
This past weekend was our annual youth retreat for teenagers growing up in orphanages in Honduras! The theme this year was Quien Soy? / Who Am I? Fifty-Four youth came and heard messages from a variety of speakers about the Biblical truth of their identities in Christ! The weekend was filled with teenagers getting to know each other and their leaders. Through the games and activities they grew in relationship with each other, and through the messages, small groups, and worship they grew in their understanding of who they are in Christ; believing that they, in fact, are loved and chosen by God! God absolutely showed up in every part of this year's retreat.
One of my favorite moments was the last night by the campfire. After talking all weekend about how the enemy is always trying to get us to believe lies about who we are, we wanted to give the youth the opportunity to think and pray about what lie had the strongest grip on their life. When they decided what lie that was, they wrote it on a paper and pinned it to the cross. This was such a powerful moment watching all of the youth go up and surrender the lies that they had been believing. After this, we had a time of sharing, where they had the chance to share how God had moved in their lives during the retreat. One teen named Samuel immediately went forward and invited everyone who had reconciled with God that night during the pinning the lie to the cross-activity to come forward and join him up front. I was blown away by how many teens and leaders joined him! I believe wholeheartedly that Samuel was a vessel for God that night and that everything he said next was Holy Spirit led. Samuel started sharing his testimony of how his dad died when he was young, and nobody wanted him, so he went to live in an orphanage. For a long time he did not behave well for his caregivers, but this past year he started going to church and heard someone’s testimony, and he decided to begin a relationship with God. He shared how he can relate to a lot of the difficulties the other youth have, but that he has decided to follow Christ; leave everything else behind! I don’t think I can put into words how amazing it was to watch this 14-year-old teen boy standing in front of these teens, speaking passionately about what God has done in his life and how he wants to use his story to help others. He inspired many youth and adults that night!
Will you join me in praying for Samuel and all the other fifty-four youth that attended this past weekend? As their family in Christ, let’s rise up and pray against the attacks Satan is sending their way, and let's pray that God would grow each of them into powerful warriors for His kingdom. Because He is faithful, He loves us, and He has a plan for each of our lives! We are grateful for each of our ministry partners that sponsored a teenager and made this retreat possible! We could not have this kind of impact without your support!