New Faces and New Placesby Zach Stallard on 12/10/2013
Anxieties were running high for many of the young people as they were about to go on the fall retreat. Many of them had never done anything like this before, had no familiarity with cabins, and some had never stayed away from their families. Beyond that, many were new to the church, having recently been connected through the confirmation class that I teach, which often brings in new people who have not been in the church before. This was going to be an interesting trip! We went in a caravan to Dickson Valley Camp and had a great time of games, worship, a campfire, soccer, and camp activities like archery and rock climbing. Amid all of this, we had the opportunity to talk about identity, including our ability to have identity in Christ as a friend of God and a part of God's family. This was the first time that some of them had ever heard the basic gospel story, and everyone was challenged to really take time to think about their place with God. Pray that these seeds sink in and grow in each of these young lives.
As we returned home, leaders were talking with kids about the trip, and many of those who had been so anxious about the trip and disconnected from others at the beginning said that they truly enjoyed the whole thing, and now the challenge is to get them to stop talking to each other in our class! I've loved seeing these young people bond with each other and enjoy their time in our community, while hearing truth that can change their lives as well!
Zach serves as an intern with New Generation Anglican Church, seeking to walk alongside young Latinos in DuPage County becoming radical followers of Jesus. He recently graduated from Wheaton College and is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana.