What a trip!! I used to say that about just about anything that was wonderful, but this was a truly awesome trip.
We arrived to the chalet a day earlier than most of the teens. We had already rented the chalet and later found out that many of our group including our fearless leader Jason, had to take some exams at school on Thursday. Three of our families, however, decided to go and enjoy the chalet anyway. We had a wonderful time.
This place was beautiful. It was two stories high with eight rooms, each with it’s own full bath. It had a game room with pool, air hockey, foose ball, and big screen. There was a great meeting room and a deck screened in with a hot tub. It also had a kitchen–fully equipped and a huge eating table.
Enough about that. The really wonderful thing about Winterfest is the fellowship, worship, and spiritual growth that happens every time. The theme of this year is one that Creekside has had for sometime now, “Love God, Lover Others.” We add the word “Serve.” These words are the key to understanding what it means to walk with Jesus. They sum up all that there is to know about the heart of God. It’s simple, but profound all at the same time.
Things I learned at Winterfest: 1. God’s love poured into me through Jesus needs to be distributed outwardly in all aspects of my life. 2. Loving others is not always a clean, neat, easy thing to do. It takes getting my hands dirty–to the point of washing feet, which was done this year by hundreds of people at the conference. 3. I learned the value of praise leaders in worship. This was the only negative I felt like happened at Winterfest this year. The singing lacked the intensity that it normally does. When the leaders lack the leadership quality, the worship seems a little less meaningful. (Just an aside–This may say more about my expectations these days than reality–I just don’t know).
The really great news this year was the mother/son combo baptism that happened. We rejoice with Keyna and Dakota who both were baptized into Jesus. This was probably the most powerful highlight of the weekend for us all. Please pray for our new brother and sister.
I want to say too here in this little report how much I appreciate Jason and Erica (our youth leaders) for their leadership this year. It is a lot to take on to lead a group to an evant like this. They did a great job. We carried 43 or so to the conference this year and I heard no griping, arguing, or negativity amongst the kids. They were awesome. I will also say that behind any great youth ministry are great parents and adult leaders. Ellen and I appreciate you all. We were honored to be with Ken and Marnie, Brent and Felecia, Tim and Keyna, as fellow-teen-parents who stayed in the cabin with all this group. Thanks to Tish and Carol who attended the conference with their children. I also want to thank all the parents who sent their kids to this event and allowed Jesus to work on their heart. None left unchanged.