Teens Impacted by Jesus’ Love at Retreat

18 South is thrilled to share that one of our teens made a commitment to Jesus during our 2017 Summer Youth Retreat! Many others took steps closer to Jesus and received prayer, encouragement, and freedom from their struggles.

One teen shared that what impacted them the most from the weekend was: “Telling some people what’s been going on with me, my family, my job, everything, my friends…so basically everything in my life. And yesterday I finally felt free, though sometimes there will be doubts, but I’ll always believe.”

The theme for our trip was Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” We had a phenomenal experience with the 13 teenagers and 4 mentors who attended the retreat at Camp Andrews in Holtwood, Lancaster County. Our trip took place July 28-30.

On Friday evening, we had a vulnerable time of sharing about our personal struggles. Teens were invited to write their struggles on a whiteboard, which was later erased as a way to demonstrate how Jesus covers our hurts and mistakes.

One teen’s favorite part of the trip was: “A closer bond with Jesus and our group.” Another’s favorite part was: “Finding out people care.”

Saturday our entire group participated in a low ropes course that provided many outdoor team building activities and challenges that spoke to how it’s vital to ask for help in life because we need each other and we need Jesus to get through. This was followed by a zip line session and then we split up for some much-needed boy time and girl time and swimming.

Another teen shared: “The thing that impacted me was that I could talk to someone about my problems.” And another shared: “Learning how to actually socialize so I can try to live in the future.”

After dinner, we returned to exploring the topic of God’s unconditional love by tie dying t-shirts as a demonstration of how God works our choices into something beautiful, even if we make a few mistakes along the way. We later discussed the power of loving God and how in return He lifts the weight of our burdens. A camp fire was lit as we shared a special time of writing our hurts onto paper and burning them in the fire, symbolizing how the Holy Spirit comes and consumes our struggles when we surrender them to Jesus. We shared an emotional experience during worship by the fire, where many took steps closer to Jesus and received prayer and encouragement from our mentors.

Other teens shared that the campfire and worship were the most impactful part of the trip for them.

Sunday morning, we wrapped up our trip with more sharing from our leaders, group prayer, and experiencing another powerful time of worship together. God was so gracious to our group during this amazing weekend with memories that we all will treasure for the rest of our lives. May God continue to move on behalf of the youth who were touched by His Spirit!

Another teen learned that: “In any situation, no matter what you are going through, believe that there are people who support and love you.”



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

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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 owns and operates 18 South Youth Center in Red Lion, Pa., which has reached more than 1,000 teens since it opened in November 2007.