Saturday evening we got home from Portland. Last week we took 7 teens to Portland for YouthWAVE (Youth With A Vision for Evangelism), and we had an amazing time! This was our 3rd year to take students to this camp, and we hope to continue to bring students back in the future.
I have been blessed to have had many camp experiences in my life time thus far. I was raised in a very active youth group, went to a Christian college, interned at a church for a summer, and now I am married to a youth minister. If you know me, then you know how much I loved Kadesh at ACU. It was such an amazing camp that challenged me spiritually and helped me to grow into a more meaningful relationship with Christ. I loved Kadesh, and I have not really found anything that compared to it (in my opinion of course).
BUT.... I truly believe that YouthWAVE is right up there with Kadesh. They are somewhat similar. The mornings are spent in a small group atmosphere with intense spiritual training focused on your personal walk with Christ. The afternoons are spent outward focused (Kadesh= community service/ YouthWAVE= going downtown to communicate and outreach with strangers). Both have amazing, blow you out of the water, praise times in the evening. Both lead up to a touching Thursday activity that challenges you spiritually. So... you can see why I love YouthWAVE and it now holds a special place in my heart next to Kadesh.
Here is our weekly schedule (mostly):
-training (looking at yourself and how to grow in Christ through Peter's story)
-"the sending" (preparing to go out into down town Portland)
-Discovery Element (out in Portland, praying over the city & w/people, and listening
to people's story and trying to help people learn God's story if the opportunity
-debriefing (sharing stories from the afternoon)
- Celebration (evening praise)
-youth group time
So... above is the gist of the schedule, but there are a few changes here and there. The week builds to Thursday when we write letters to friends back home. Most teens (and even adults) struggle with not being "real" with their friends about their faith. YouthWAVE encourages students to let their friends know about their beliefs and to be honest with their faith and to invite their friends on their faith journey. YouthWAVE's big thing is that it's not about the one week of camp, but about the other 51 weeks of the year and living out your faith every day. It is such an awesome camp and it was great to watch our teens grow and it was great for Lantz and I to grow as well.
Here are our photos from the week: