Lessons in Faith: 18 South Attends Winter Retreat

Four brave chaperones representing three Red Lion churches gave up their Valentine’s Day weekend this year to escort a group of 15 teens to a Winter Meltdown Youth Retreat at River Valley Ranch in Maryland.

The majority of the teens we brought on this retreat were unchurched, and most of them were enticed to attend the retreat because of the opportunity to play paintball and go zip-lining. So when we arrived on Friday evening for the first service, our teens were a little frazzled by the concept of worship (yep, our entire group let out an audible groan upon hearing what they were about to engage in).

But the Gospel worked its magic throughout the weekend in between paint-balling, zip-lining, snowball fights, sermons, and the best milkshakes ever.

Our group of boys, in particular, had amazing moments during their small group discussion times with my husband, Joshua Cauller, who attends DOVE Community Church with me, and Max Halterman, who is from Pleasant View Brethren in Christ Church. Many of the boys felt compelled to share their life story of hurts with one another as they wrestled with and related to the Bible stories they had heard for the first time that weekend.

Myself and Karen Sites, from Living Word Community Church, had the privilege of giving the group of girls an introduction to the Bible and the Jesus who had personally and radically changed our lives. While the girls were more hesitant than the boys to share their thoughts, each girl was engaged in what we were sharing. Later on during one-on-one conversations and Facebook-status updates, many of the girls expressed that this was the best weekend of their lives and that something deep within them had been changed.

What a joy it was to plant fresh seeds deep within the spirits of these young people after spending months and months building relationships and tilling the soil of their hearts. I am overwhelmed with hope as we continue our relationship building with this group and offer them more insight into what Jesus has to offer them.

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18 South Youth Ministries
P.O. Box 472
Red Lion, PA 17356

18 South Youth Ministries

18 South Youth Ministries strives to create opportunities for caring, responsible adults with Christian values to build authentic relationships with youth. The nonprofit operates 18 South Youth Center in Red Lion, Pa., which has reached more than 1,000 teens since it opened in November 2007.