Not that mine wasn’t already to begin with. Winter Retreat ‘10-‘11 has really changed my life. My thoughts before going was “Oh it’ll be fun as usual. I’ll learn so much like all other winter retreats!”
Usually, I only meet a few people just cause I already know most of the youth. But at every WR, I realized I always met the worship people and yeahyeah that. So once again, I met them. 2 of them I technically met at previous retreats, but the other 3 were new so that was good!
Anyways, the first night was the intro to the message that would be discussed throughout the entire retreat.
“The Joy in Suffering”
The first thing that comes to mind is, “Wow what an interesting topic to talk about.” I really liked the idea of it.
I really liked the way AJ Rafael taught us. He spoke the message in a way that was easy for me to understand. (Although I felt REALLY bad for the fact that during morning messages, everyone fell asleep. ESPECIALLY how I could tell He was really nervous but excited to speak God’s word to us.) But I never fall asleep so I was proud. :)
Worship: Speechless. It was amazing. The song choices. The meaning of those songs. The worship team. The worship in general. Hearing everyone’s voices shouting out to praise God. Everyone was so deeply into it. One night I cried. I honestly had no idea why my tears flowed out. I was with my small group, and we had just finished our deep prayer. Jessjess and Valerie were there by my side when I cried. They were there to comfort me. The counselors were surrounding the room; being there to reach out to us youth and pray for us when we came to them. I worshipped, and watched as one by one, youth would walk over to a counselor and they would pray together. It was a great moment. Worship was my absolute favorite part of WR.
Message: I think it was Roger’s first time speaking? Well, he was nervous at first I believe. But the topic he chose was “The Joy in Suffering.” Just reading those 4 words really got to me. I’ve never gone through anything THAT tragic in a way still hurts to think about. I mean, they were small small things. I don’t like drama either so I stay away. ;) Smart smart! Anyways, I took notes in my handy dandy notebook so everytime I refer back to it, I’ll remember EVERYTHING. That one video he showed us about the 4 different ‘levels’ of.. Christianity (?) was probably my favorite. I’m the 3rd one trying to be the 4th. But suffering is a real big deal to me. I never went through anything that bad, but watching my friends suffer, and cry in front of me makes me fail so bad. We talk all the time, and I try comforting him/her. I liked the passages Roger provided to us, especially John 9. The one about the blind man and how Jesus healed Him.
1. Jesus takes the focus off the “why” questions and puts it on God’s glory.
2. The work of God in the blind man was healing and transformation.
3. We miss seeing God’a glory if we put God in a box and doubt His goodness.
The second night:
1. God’s solution to evil and suffering is found in Christ. (Romans 8)
2. Christ gives us hope amidst our suffering.
3. God has made us to be more than conquerors.
The third morning:
**Suffering as Dying to Ourselves**
The three exhortations:
1. Put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3)
2. Press on!
3. Our citizenship is in heaven. We belong there!!
The third night:
**Perserverance and Joy in Suffering**
-2 Corinthians 1:3-11
1. The testing of your faith develops perserverance —> mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:3-4).
2. When you stand the test, you receive the crown of life that God has promised (James 1:12).
3. Christ’s comfort overflows into our lives (2 Corinthians 1:5)
4. God delivered, will deliver, and will continue to deliver (2 Corinthians 1:10).
The fourth morning:
**Responding to Suffering**
How to endure it:
1. Delete the spam!
2. Rejoice, pray, and give thanks.
3. Choose a kingdom lifestyle.
-1 Peter 4:12-19.
Food: Ohmyg. Although I JUST got my braces, the food was too good to NOT eat. They gave me too much food sometimes though..T_T BUT IT’S OKAY it was tasty. I wanna thank all those parents; moms and dads, that came here to praise the Lord AND serve us what we needed to survive. Errr yummy!
The first full day, free time was..3 and a half hours. Long long. I spent all of free time with Willa. Willa Tseng. <3 Ohmyg I love her so much. Such a great sister to me. Ahhhh. We visited the prayer room and prayed, and did all there was there. We spent an hour or so in there. We walked around outside, went to the basketball gym for a bit, walked around and watched worship boys practiceee, and COLORED. We made BEAUTIFUL signs for our lovely Ed and Eric Sun who were rapping that night. :3 It was a surprise but we had to shush. We even hid our signs in some weird boxed area.
The second day we had 4 hours of freetime! I spent around 1-2 hours with my small group practicing for our talent show skit thing. Then we went downstairs and disperseddd. I played with the worship team. With Jess Kuo, Jessica Lu, and Teresa. I played Monopoly Deal or something like that, with some counselors and Eric Yi, Sam Lui, yeahyeah. (They’re talented, you should talk to them O_O ) Then we had dinner after. LOLOL we played for a long time.
Games: They were interesting. Wrapping a small group member in ducktape, and blowing Cuetip things on them, applebobbing and sharing delish germs, seeing who could find a Bible verse the quickest, etc. Yeah does the talent show count? Well they’re all posted on FB. Or most of them (But I got lazy to post them all..) Shh.
Small group: I already knew everyone in my small group so unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet anyone new there. It was a mixed, tiny group. 9th & 10th grade. Yay yay. Me, Valerie Chang, Jess Kuo, Amy Zhan, and Aryn Tan. TAMMY LIAW AND KAT WOO were my counselors. Gooooo counselor and CIT! :D :D They were the best. I got to know my small group a LOT better as we met up like, 5 times a day HAHA. After messages, during devos, prayer, worship, talent show skit, and eating. Etc? Maybe. But I love them. A lot.
Now: I want to be as great of a worship leader as Yohan and Eric. :)
How He Loves was my overall favorite song played. The meaning of it made me cry that night so I am now determined to play it at church. And all those other wonderful songs played at this retreat.
I hope i’ll grow up to be an amazing worship leader, and helping people follow and praise God. <3
I think that’s about it. But yeah, WR ‘10-‘11: Unforgettable. Memorable. Indescribable. Meaningful. Amazing, The best. <3