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Sunday
Aug112019

Summer Youth Discipleship Adventure

The youth had such an amazing time on their Summer Discipleship Adventure!! They spent an amazing week strengthening their faith and learning what it means to follow Jesus and be disciples. They felt the wind of the Holy Spirit stirring in their hearts and lives, they felt the reckless love of God, and they are changed.
Learn more about the experience of our youth in their own words below:

 

Going into this week, I already felt like I had a pretty strong relationship with God. Now, looking back, I know that my faith strengthened, and I gained a new perspective.  At the beginning of the week, our faith was compared to a wheel. For a wheel to be supported, it needs to have spokes. Though my faith already had some spokes, I realized that there needed to be some reinforcement. Throughout the week, we spent a majority of our learning time in nature. When spending so much time amidst God’s creation, I felt very present in what we learned and in the community I was with. We spent so much time reflecting and learning how our faith can be reinforced. I spent a lot of time in self-reflection. Parts of it were very hard to do. I realized I needed to form in my faith. Through conversations, and ridiculous jokes, I grew even closer to a group that I couldn’t even imagine it being closer. The love and closeness in this crazy EYC family showed me God’s love. Now, I feel called to spread God’s word to others. To spread the overwhelming love I felt this week. This week showed me God in so many new ways. I couldn’t ask for anything more. ~Anna B

 

My relationship with God was…different. Sometimes I lost sight of Him. I had a voice in my head that clouded part of my relationship with God. I didn’t know how I would fix my head, but then, this trip happened. On the first day, we turned in our phones and weren’t able to use them. It was weird, but it was beneficial.  Every morning, we would have devotional time. This was a time where we could be with God by ourselves. We would go on hikes and we would have lessons. Each day, we would learn about something that strengthened our faith. By the end of the week, we had: Scripture, Theology & Love, Resurrection & Victory, Evangelism, and Community.  I believe everybody can say the felt closer to God this week. I am a quiet and reserved person, but this week, I could open up and be myself. I put my guard down, and noticed I was relieved. The kids in EYC accepted me and liked me for me. To nobody’s surprise, a house of teenagers was very loud and energetic. There were constant jokes and smiles and laughs. We played games at night and throughout the day. This week, we grew as a community, but most importantly, we grew as a family. We could laugh, and cry, share stories, and be ourselves without judgment. This week brought me closer to God and reassured me that God has a safe place for me. I can go there when I need to escape my thoughts. This trip changed many lives, including mine. If anybody asks me what my relationship with God is now, I would respond: Don’t worry; it’s bolted down. We may have only been here for a week, but this would change our lives forever. I will always be thankful for the safe place I made with God. I will never forget this experience. ~Meredith

 

So before this trip, I had a relationship with God, but it wasn’t strong; I prayed once in a while and I went to church and EYC. During this trip, I learned a lot more about my faith and what it means to be a Christian. I found a strong group who will love and support me unconditionally. We had fun and laughed a ton. These people are some of God’s best creations. WE hiked a ton and each time we learned about something new, whether it was Scriptures, theology, victory, evangelism, or community. I learned a lot. My faith is now thriving. This trip was truly a blessing! I got closer to God, my peers, and most importantly, myself. Once I get home I will try my absolute hardest to spread the word of God to everyone around me! ~Abby B

 

I had a lot of doubts in my faith but after I came back from the trip, I now have a better and stronger relationship. I experienced His love and encouragement especially through the incredible people around me during the trip. Learning more about God and Jesus was really eye-opening and a wonderful experience all together, learning about His love and forgiveness and being more aware of Scripture and the Victory over our fears and troubles. It’s okay to have doubts; it means that you’re trying to get the concept and believe. But it’s more about the effort you put into it. ~Kiara

 

My faith was good but it wasn’t great, like it could have been more.  While on the retreat, we went on many hikes that helped grow my faith because of the lessons. One question we talked about was why bad things happen to good people. But through God, I learned that great things happen to good people, because God can turn it into good. I think my faith has grown since this retreat and that I made a new family with old friends. ~Chris

 

My relationship with God has never been harshly tested, that’s not to say I haven’t had moments in which I felt that He wasn’t there. This trip helped me understand that God had never and could never leave. I also strengthened my relationship with God through beautiful creation, much of this trip consisted of hiking. Now I know that God is here for me, and anyone who needs Him. To anyone who ends up reading this, I would encourage them to join the EYC, so they can have an amazing experience as I did. ~ Cole

 

Before I went on the trip, I was close with God, but not close enough. I went to church on Sundays, went to EYC, and prayed before every meal. That’s enough for some people, and that’s cool, but it’s not enough for me. I was really nervous to go on the trip because I had just been away from my family with no contact for a week, and I was just about to do it again. When I finally got there, my heart just opened up and I was ready. We went on our first few hikes just getting into the week, and I was already feeling closer to God. On Wednesday we went on the longest hike of the trip carrying a large wooden cross. That really stuck out to me that we were all taking turns bearing the weight of the world. When we got there, we talked about how in the Bible it tells us we have victory over ourselves, the outside world, and death. That changed my life. On the hike back to the cabin, I was exhausted but elated. I truly felt that I could conquer anything ever and especially my own mind. I love this earth and all of God’s creation with all my heart and I plan on sharing this with the world. ~Emma

 

What was your relationship with God before this trip? Well, I went to church, went to EYC and DOK, prayed, and so much more. I loved God so much, but didn’t know what knowledge I was missing out on. I had no idea when I signed up for this trip. I was scared. I couldn’t recite the Bible, or didn’t know all of the songs. However, as soon as I was surrounded by my EYC family, I felt safe. I learned the answers to so many of my unasked questions, and learned how beautiful God is. His end goal is to be with us once more, together with our Father. Isn’t that amazing?! My faith will NEVER be the same. We learned that faith is like a wheel, where without support, it would fall apart. I learned about the different “spokes” in faith, and learned how God had given them to me long ago, I just didn’t know it yet. Leaving the trip, I now know that God has given me victory over the world, in order to stay even closer to Him. Isn’t that beautiful? ~Tori

 

I went into this week just hoping to start some new habits, like praying more and reading the Bible. And yes, those things are important, but I was reminded that my faith was so much more than that. One moment that was really eye-opening for me was on the first night. The entire group was blind-folded and we did a trust exercise together, and then we looked at the stars and listened to a story about creation. I deeply felt the unconditional love this group and God had for me. It’s extremely important to be reminded of non-judgmental, never-ending love at times in life. Sometimes, I might not feel this love, but throughout the week, I learned how to strengthen my faith so it will remain strong no matter what. Now I want to take the love my EYC family has given me, and spread it to others who aren’t as familiar with it, so they can feel the joy and acceptance of God. ~Lily

 

Before this trip, I couldn’t always see the light of God. My relationship with Him was shaky. A lot of times, I would only think of myself. I learned that God is I AM WHO I AM, an artistic creator. I found a God to whom I could finally relate. Most of all, I learned to see the face of God in each person’s soul, a tiny light at our very core. God is always with us. The light can be covered up, but it can never go out. You can hide your light from others or you can let it gleam. Going back home, I will show every human I meet the best person I can be. Although I have sin, I am not sin, and my love, God’s love, will always win. As a friend told us, the work isn’t easy, but it is so, so, so rewarding to come down the mountain. It isn’t easy, but it’s the right thing. Just like the disciples during the Transfiguration, I can’t stay on this mountaintop forever, but I can and will share the light with others. ~Grace

 

Before I came on this retreat, I had a somewhat strong relationship with God, but I was at a valley point where my relationship wasn’t growing. I knew how to worship Him, but my trust in Him was a slight issue. On the retreat, we were blindfolded multiple times in order for us to practice this trust. Practicing this helped me to worry less about what was happening and just let it happen. Another thing that helped my trust with God was not really knowing the time or the schedule. This has really been a struggle for me because I like being in control when I know that God is in control. In the past, I feel like these trust issues have hurt my relationship with God, and now I feel like I can finally grow again. My relationship also grew this week when I realized how important morning devotion was. We had a devotion with some questions. We only spent 15 minutes doing this, but it changed my perspective for the day. It helped me to find God throughout the day in nature. Overall, the love and passion everyone around me had for God helped me to grow my relationship with God. Getting uncomfortable can truly change you and your relationship with God. ~Anna W

 

Before this week, I honestly didn’t have such a good relationship with God and I felt like something was wrong with me. Why was everyone so close and not me, but I went on a life-changing trip this week. My main hope was become closer with God. Little did I know I would have built some of the best relationships ever. I even felt the most involved I ever had. Learning about God was not like math or science…It was actually interesting! I felt like I finally knew who God was and what my faith was…or did I? As the week went on, the more I knew. I understood so much that I could never grasp before. Here I am, 14 years old and learning about the 3 persons who is one God and understanding everything. The gears started turning and I got to thinking. How could I make the people at my church more involved, and it’s simple. You don’t have to unplug for a week like me but take a hike, bring a Bible and take it all in. Here I am at 14 and I am completely changed. I spent the longest time getting myself down, like a hula hoop when you add pressure. All you have to do is work on the spokes and become a supportive bike wheel. I made it up the mountain, spent a week with God, and now I am called back down to do what I am called by God to do. ~Kelleen