Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Inspiring Weekend

As I wrote on Friday, I spent my weekend at the church for 30 Hour Famine. We had such a great group of kids this year. It was really inspiring for me to be a part of it.

Friday started out with lots of games, fun, and worship time. I was with a group of sophomore girls all weekend, and they were so much fun! A lot of my pictures were ruined because my memory card went bad :-( But each small group was a "village," and on Friday night we designed our village flags, and then created cardboard villages! They actually decorated them and slept in them. So fun!
Also on Friday night we had a time of worship, and a big concert put on by the one80 Band (Luke's band!) JC let me use his SLR camera, so I took about 80 pictures. Here are just a few :-)

Here's Luke!
Right before bed, we played a game called "Persecuted Christian." (AKA "Underground Church.") We turned out all the lights in the church and the kids were allowed one flashlight per group. There were certain things hidden in the church that they had to find, and then make it to the "secret room" for a worship service. But there were "guards" hidden all around the church who would take the kids to jail and steal whatever hidden objects they had found. It's a fun game, but also helps to teach the kids what it might be like to live in a country where they would be persecuted for their faith. Before the game, all the kids gathered in the sanctuary, and the youth pastor played a video about teens who were trying to give out Bibles and attend a secret church service in Vietnam. They had to do it secretly, and stay away from real guards. At the end of the video, the kids almost ran into a guard and there is a very tense moment shot in night vision. Right at that moment, we shut out all the lights and the youth pastor blew an air horn to begin the game. You better believe the kids jumped out of their seats! It was a "fun scare," but really had them feeling for a moment how the kids in the video must have been feeling. I think it made them all realize how lucky we are to live in America and be able to freely worship God.

Saturday morning started with service projects. In my group, we made blankets to send to Akron Children's Hospital. They invited some of the widows from the church to help, which I thought was cool. So the kids were able to reach out to children and widows in our community at the same time. They really worked hard on the blankets! There were 21 kids working on them, and in 3 hours, they made 21 blankets! So I thought that was pretty good :-)

Later we had a photo scavenger hunt with our groups. We got to walk around town to take pictures of the different list items. Here are a few:
A picture of our group's reflection:
With a "for sale" sign
I forget what this one was for, but I thought it was cute :-) and you can see the flag they made Fri. night
After that, we had another worship service. It was getting closer to the end, and everyone was getting a little tired! They really didn't complain too much, though. After the worship service, we had another group game: an egg drop! With a twist...we had to "buy" supplies for the egg drop. The team who spent the least amount of money AND kept their egg intact won! Our group did a great job with their parachute-style contraption, and our egg didn't break! Although we did not spend the least amount of money of all the groups, we came out somewhere near the top.
Now it was time for our final activity before our "breaking the fast" meal. During the weekend, we had talked a lot about not only how much we need to do for others' lives, but also how much we need the Lord in our own lives. Alex, the youth pastor, had been telling the kids all weekend that there would be a baptism service on Saturday night if anyone felt led to publicly declare that they would follow Jesus with their lives. So we had this baptism service right before the big meal. I think there were about 10 kids who decided to be baptized, and even 1 leader. And the group leader of the child being baptized got to help with the baptism. Two of my girls made the decision, so I got to help with two baptisms! It was a really awesome experience to be a part of.

The baptism service was just amazing, and the Holy Spirit was definitely present. After the baptism, we officially ended our fast with communion, and God really spoke to some hearts during that time. It brought everyone together, and the sense of community was awesome. I think everyone would have stayed in that sanctuary even longer to worship, even though they knew there was a nice, hot meal waiting for them downstairs after 30 hours of not eating! I am so proud of all the teens who participated in this year's Famine! I know a lot of lives were changed, and they were all motivated to do things to help around the world and especially in Haiti.

The "breaking the fast" meal was amazing! It always is. I just hope no one ate too much and got sick! And so far, the total raised by our youth this year is over $17,000 for Haiti! How incredible that 120 teenagers can raise that much! God is so great.

I know this was a long post, but I'm just very pumped up after being with those teens this weekend! Even though I was a leader for them, they were the ones who inspired me. I'll leave with a picture of the entire group taken Saturday afternoon (picture taken by JC):


  1. Sure does look like an inspiring weekend!! :-)

  2. i don't know how i happened upon your blog...but, i'm so glad i did!!

    i love it :o)


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