Right before graduating college, I had a TON of freak-out-what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life moments. At the time, I didn't have a secure job, or any form of income. But, I knew I was moving to Lexington on June 1st and that the Lord would provide something for me to do.
Oh, what He had in store for me!! I was offered a summer internship position at Tates Creek Presbyterian Church with the youth group. I had been thinking that Youth Ministry was something I wanted to get involved with, and I am so very glad that I did. I have not ever had the opportunity to work with middle school or high school before my last semester of college until my friend Becky asked me to go on a spring retreat as a chaperon. We took about 60 students with us to Gatlinburg. What an experience!
However, after the retreat, I was hooked. I decided to commit my Wednesday nights to going to Youth Group and hanging out with the students I met on the retreat. I am so thankful that I did this. Even though I may not be sharing the Gospel or leading a Bible study, it was so good to go and hang out with the students.
We kicked off the summer with a mission trip to West Liberty with some of the high school students. I had never been to West Liberty, I had only seen pictures of the damage that was done by the tornado. While we were there we only worked on one mans house. Most of the outside damage had been repaired already, so our jobs were to completely clean out the inside of his home. We took out all the furniture and scrubbed the interior of his house down. The house was full dry wall dust, dust itself, and tons and tons of old furniture and belongings.
We not only got to serve in West Liberty; we got to play a little bit too. The first night we had a cook out with one of the students grandparents and the second night we were able to go to a swimming pool and just cool off from a long day in the sun. This was a great time for me to sit down with some of the girls in the youth and just talk to them!
After this retreat, youth group meetings continued and relationships were beginning to form. Mid-July we had a [semi] middle school retreat at the Gorge. This consisted of about 6 middle schoolers and the rest were in high school just along for the ride. This retreat was so much fun! We had the entire cabin to ourselves [with the exception of maybe 2 or 3 people]. We played tons of game [mafia, pig, and tons of bonding games], we went hiking, and rock jumping and spent time in the Word together. What a sweet little retreat.
However, as the summer came to a close, I found a full-time job and had to make the decision to stay an intern through the fall or just volunteer my time whenever I could. So, volunteering it would be. But I have to say that I don't regret my decision at all. I still get to see the students at church on Sundays as well as Wednesday night youth group. This past Wednesday night we had 97 students at Youth Group. Oh, what an amazing sight it was to see! We had a huge kick-off with cotton candy, sno cones, lots of sugar and worship. Here are a few pictures of that night!
David's hand was COVERED in cotton candy!
Sweet Emma and Susanna!
Love these sweet souls
The love of a two-year old
The most disgusting game!
97 middle school and high school students praising Jesus!
I am so excited to see what the Lord continues to do through their lives!