Natalie and I had planned to go on a mini-road-trip for a YL errand but ended up just getting an after school snack instead. Coolest coincidence of the day-- I surprised her with the collage I made on Saturday and she surprised me with a super intricate friendship bracelet. Two years ago Natalie would come to Carmel Wyld Life events because I knew then she was a total YL kid. Now it's so cool to see her embracing YL in HSE.
Natalie spontaneously initiated Halloween themed Campaigners via Instagram about two hours before we met. The power of social media. Dozens of kids showed up in awesome outfits.
Dressing up for Campaigners? I think these kids are ready for Club.
I love that kids who didn't know each other a couple weeks ago have become friends through these Monday nights. I loved getting so excited when Courtney Graham and then Mary Liddy walked through the door tonight. I love that Maddy Wilson's costume of a 50's school girl was actually what she wore to school today.
We gathered everyone together that came in costume-- I think my favorites would have to be (see if you can spot them) Pippi Longstocking, Waldo, Pioneer Women and the Lego. These outfits reminded me of opening campfire and Would You Be My Friend If I Wore This day--so great.
And then we had to try to fit everyone into the picture whether they got the memo on a costume or not.
This certainly is one heck of a crew of kids. They come from all different backgrounds and experiences and groups and I love that mix. Having this many people show up is such a blessing but it's also been interesting to navigate challenges I haven't seen a team have to figure out before. For example- what do you do when most kids would rather talk or throw paper airplanes than sing along with the worship songs? How do you make kids feel known and welcomed and unique when there are so many of them?
We talked about this verse in our group, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 6-7 And it is such a reminder of the truth that YL here does not have to be perfect, I don't have to be a perfect leader, and we don't have to be the perfect team. I don't want to be anxious about what's going on here but want to constantly be taking it to God in prayer.
And there are so many things to praise God for...
The conversations that we have in small group and these girls' willingness to share.
Healing of two girls after surgery and a car accident.
A bus full of kids signed up to go on Fall Weekend
The things that break our hearts that show us where God is calling us to
Friends that want to help us grow in our faith
We're starting to tell the kids in the Junior High about Wyld Life events coming up. When I ask them if they've hear of Young Life they usually say, "Oh yeah, I think I saw it on Instagram." How could you miss it when kids are writing things like this after Campaigners,
"So thankful and beyond blessed to have all these wonderful people in my life. I've always dreamed of Young Life becoming big in HSE and it finally has, I cannot thank God enough for it and the people in my life. I've seen the faith of many grow already and made so many awesome new friends. Nothing can get better than the presence of the Lord and the feeling of his plans for our own lives."