A while back, I was asked to help out with the Disciple Now youth weekend at my home church. Since the event fell during Mardi Gras break, I jumped on the chance! I found out a couple weeks before that I would be helping teach the 7th grade girls – just like at Calvary! My family and I have been at this church for about 10 years, but there was enough of an age difference that I didn’t know any of the girls ahead of time. I missed the worship service Friday night in order to finish up some homework, but went up to the church in time to pick up the girls’ luggage to take to the host home. We had 15 girls, plus two college leaders, four members of the host family, and two other helpers all staying in one house. I’m very thankful they had 3 bathrooms, and that these girls weren’t too concerned with makeup or hair fixing! The host is also their regular Sunday School teacher, and I’ve known the family for years. After the girls got snacks, we jumped right in to the first lesson. The focus was about obeying God in the present, using the story of Joshua. The girls surprised me with their knowledge, maturity level, and attention span. A few of them fell asleep immediately after we finished the lesson and the rest followed suit without much of a fight. One of the girls who fell asleep early started snoring, and the girls next to her moved away quickly!
Saturday morning started bright and early, with homemade pancakes and fresh fruit for breakfast. We had our second lesson, and then went up to the church for worship and lunch. Rain made things outdoors too messy for the games that were originally planned, so Mrs. Jennifer (the host/teacher) pulled out her large box of duct tape and let the girls go to town making headbands, bracelets, belts to hold their inflatable swords, and all sorts of things. It was such fun to see them combine all of the different colors of duct tape. They even taught me how to make duct tape bows!
After all the duct tape fun, we did the third lesson, then I snuck home to get my clothes for Sunday morning, and I managed to get in a short (and much needed!) nap before dinner time. The evening held our last “Big Session” worship time, which was able to be extended due to the rain canceling the bonfire that was planned. It was a blessing! Corporate worship always is, but when you add the passion and excitement of the youth, it’s incredible. Three of the girls from our group prayed to receive Christ this weekend!! I felt so blessed to be a part of that. I found out that about half of them will be attending the camp where I’m on staff for the summer, and Mrs. Jennifer has asked me to come back for DNow next year, and come this summer to teach the girls about using henna to share the Gospel.
Favorite quote from the weekend: “You know, a hug can make such a difference, it makes you feel good inside. And that makes me smile!”
Now, you may have noticed that I don’t have any pictures of this weekend, and I didn’t tweet at all. After seeing this on Pinterest:
I decided to leave my phone in the back room and give the girls my 100% attention and focus. I know that I’m often too focused on my phone and what’s going on with Twitter that I don’t pay enough attention to what is going on around me. I was able to start some good relationships with the girls, and hopefully I’ll have one or two of them in my group at camp this summer!