The day camp cancelled which is just as well. It rained pretty much all day and with the retreat starting tonight, there was quite a bit to do. After breakfast we helped the DTC students clean up camp and move chairs and beds for the retreat.
Johnny had a project that required knowledge of wiring. I asked what he needed help with. Turns out he had 12 par cans with broken lights. He wanted to change the outlet in them to a standard outlet and put plugs on them. I know how to do that.
So we went to the hardware store, or ‘the mans store’ in Johnny speak. Got those done and Johnny was happy.
Tonight our kids are feeling the stretch. 9 churches, 150 teenagers, 25 volunteer staff, all Portugeuse, all the time. Plus we are on ‘Brasil Time.’ Meaning that the schedule is just a rough estimate.
Here was the schedule:
8.30 – Session 1
10.00 – games (outside in dark and rain with lit torches.)
11.30 – Break with pizza and hot drinks
1.00 – rooms
1.30 – lights out.
Guess what time breakfast is? 7.30.
Of course, everything ran late…an hour. I got to bed at 1.30. I think. I don’t really want to know.
But we learn quickly that you just go with it. Exhaustion is temporary. And it’s fun.
This retreat is designed by WOL for area churches to bring lost kids. Lost kids can attend for free but must come with a church. Thomas has his reasons for doing this. He tells me that growing that new believer into a serving disciple is the goal. And while it is wonderful that this ministry is reaching the lost – churches must start making disciples specifically with teenagers and young adults.
I’ll let Thomas explain further:
The church in Brazil is in real danger. Churches don’t have student ministries as you understand it. With no student ministries, churches are dieing. I mean right before our eyes. And what is baffling to me is that these churches refuse to change, they refuse to reach out to teens, to young people in general and not only are our churches drying up and closing – our country is about to be turned over to a generation with no moral compass and no hope for eternity. We must keep reaching teens for Christ and making disciples. Must.’
This drove Thomas to start the Discipleship Training Center. Make disciples who will return to their towns and do this in their churches. Want to see Thomas get fired up? This fires him up.
Back to our students – I am so proud of these guys. Everyone of them has just jumped in and embraced the people and the opportunities. Miss Shy Shelby has just impressed me with her courage to reach out and engage. For an introvert, pretty much every aspect of this trip is terrifying. There is no place to hide. She has just rocked it.
They all have but I just wanted to brag on her a bit.
After the session, I gave students the opportunity to start a relationship with Jesus. I lost count of the faces that looked up at me. Will follow up with leaders in the AM to see how it went. Good response so far.