The Herd (middle school) and Crash (high school) ministries had an amazing time at our annual winter retreat January 14-16 and I wanted to share four things with you that jumped out to me from that weekend.
First, we were extremely blessed by our volunteers (not our normal staff, I’ll get to them in a minute). We have a group comprised of adults in the church, some parents some not, that go up all weekend to serve the students. They make all the food, serve all the food, wash all the dishes, clean up etc… Some are parents who would otherwise have a kid free weekend at home. Some are just people who love the youth ministries and want to help out. We are so blessed by them every year and are amazed that many of them do this every year for us. It is also a great picture of the different ages and generations of HPBC coming together and serving for a united purpose and it is powerful to see.
Second, we were able to take CBC of Brighton’s middle school group and Bell Creek’s youth groups with us on the retreat. Andrew Williams is the youth pastor at CBC and Dan Baughman is the youth pastor at Bell Creek. Both are men who have grown up at our church and in our youth group and have also worked at HPBC at different times. It is so encouraging to see not only what God is doing in our youth group but in other groups through men that we know and have had the opportunity to work with.
Third, our volunteer staff people are amazing. This group of staff are the people that work regularly with the Herd and Crash. They actually paid to go on the retreat and sleep with smelly middle schoolers and stay up until crazy hours talking with students. We could not do what we do without them and they do it all with a smile on their face and such energy and positivity that it is amazing. We were also able to take 3 SAM (Special Abilities Ministry) students with us for the first time which was a huge blessing.
Lastly, we have a unique relationship with the Romulus basketball team. Many of you know Josh Baker who is a member at our church. Up until this year he was a coach for the team. Through this connection, and an unbelievably gracious sponsor, we have been able to have the team come to some of our summer camps in the past. This was the first year we have had them up to winter camp and it was amazing. Through this same sponsor we were also able to take a number of basketball players from SCS who had never been to any of our retreats. Seeing those guys with tears in their eyes singing Great I Am will not be something that any of us will soon forget. A couple of the guys even accepted Christ!
Thanks to all of you who played a part, we couldn’t do it without you. And please keep the students, especially those who made important decisions, in your prayers as they are back into normal life and having to deal with all the things pulling them away from Jesus.
We are remembering what God has done for us and because of that we have faith that God will accomplish the hopes that He gave us that weekend.