First of all, I'd like a shirt that says "I survived CIY!" Seriously. And while I'm thinking about it, I'd like it to be black with glow in the dark letters. Because so much of what took place last week was late at night. Averaging a few hours of sleep (as in 3-4...yikes!) for 7 straight days takes a toll on a person!
We got home late Saturday night from taking 13 teens (+ our 4 kiddos) to a week-long Christ In Youth (CIY) conference in Colorado. Thank goodness for the other two adult sponsors. Chuck and Amanda, you guys were AMAZING! While I went in expecting to be fired up for God, I never expected the conference to be so emotional. We really dug deep into forgiveness, fatherlessness and transitioning from our ideas of an earthly father to our heavenly father, the role of the church, and becoming Kingdom Workers. So awesome, but so deeply emotional at the same time. We live in a broken world and so many of us there were broken. It was heart wrenching and humbling at the same time that people were so honest in telling their stories.
Beyond that though, it was fun! A lot of fun. As my kids pointed out -- rock concert fun! Nothing like worshiping in a room with 1100+ teenagers to get your blood pumping each day. We took hundreds of photos, but here are a few from the week. I'll keep them to mostly my family so I don't embarrass the teens. But, look for more (as in almost 300) pictures that I'll get downloaded onto Facebook soon!
Ready to leave Valley Center. Two church vans and a mini van, good times!
Sand Dunes National Park.
Those three dots are my girls at the bottom of the hill if that tells you how steep it was! And yes, Chris was totally dragging Sam down the hill. I'm not sure if his feet ever touched the ground!
Ready to hike down into Durango to do some shopping and get some frozen yogurt!
Praying for each other. We did 4 baptisms on the spot and have 3 more to do now that we're back home. We had a ton of recommitments and also had 2 teens commit to full-time vocational ministry. Such an awesome thing God was doing in the lives of our teens!
Like I said, "rock concert!" The lead singer is in that giant ball being passed around by a thousand teenagers. If that isn't trust, I don't know what is!
And new friends who making doing ministry together so much more enjoyable!
A special thanks to Chris' parents, Jane & Howard. They came all the way to Durango to help us with the kiddos and spent their day shuffling them back and forth to us so we could spend every possible minute we could with them. We could not possibly have done it without them!
And now, the laundry is finally done and put away. I lost count of how many loads I did over the last two days. The kids are almost caught up on their sleep. And I might finally be able to process everything from the week.
One last thought, the closest wildfire was only 3.5 miles away. Depending on the direction of the wind, a couple of days the smoke was everywhere. Pray with me for gentle rain to fall down on Colorado minus the lightening and unpredictable wind please!
What a great week!