A week and a half ago, 30 guys from the ministry, including 5 Chinese students went out to the middle of the woods for a weekend of hotdogs, running around in the dark, and growing closer to God. Here are a few photos with commentary from the weekend.
Most internationals had had limited experience cooking food over the fire (heck, many of the American freshman from urban areas were in the same boat), so I taught a few how to enjoy their very American meal on Friday night.
As a way of bonding, we played tug of war Friday night. Obviously, it was quite the intense experience.
We played four-way tug of war, where four teams get to play at once. It was crazy! Here, Eclipse and Michael (not their Chinese names) get ready to almost win.
Eclipse works out. Michael tries really hard, kinda like me.
We ended the night with two fierce games of Capture the Flag. This picture makes me look more awesome than I actually am.
Everyone’s tired from all the games the night before. Missi, our pastor Tom’s wife, prepared some delicious casseroles that we could just heat over the fire. This was way faster cooking than the bacon and eggs of years past. We followed this up with a time of worship, listening to a message, small group discussion, and private devotional time. The theme of the weekend was “Impact,” how our private time alone with God should impact our lives and make it obvious to those around us that we’ve “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). It was beautiful seeing the guys, especially the Chinese guys, praying and reading the Bible afterward.
Ultimate frisbee. I’m honestly not too bad, but next to this guy’s vertical, I look pretty sad, haha! The internationals loved it!
The whole crew. We had a great worship service on Saturday night, and communion together on Sunday morning. Three of the guys were Chinese guys who have made decisions to follow Christ in the last year, and two others were guys who have growing interest in Jesus. In fact, one of them was brought by the other, and I’d never met him before! The Kingdom of God is founded in relationships.
We end every big event with a little ritual we like to call “Bring It In.” Here’s some of the craziness of it.
Thank you to all of you who support me and this ministry. This retreat, these guys growing closer to Jesus, and particularly this Chinese young men grower closer to God, wouldn’t be possible without you. Thank you!
All photos & video courtesy of James Boley, Mike Towers & Tom Trask.