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Winter Retreat

Over 130 senior high students and leaders from many different churches all over Illinois came together at Durley Retreat Center in Greenville, Illinois for our annual retreat, “Frostbite”.  Our speaker, Zach Fleming, reminded us that God has one identity, and it’s found in scripture – not often in humanity’s created versions.  He also challenged students to be more aware of the power their words carry, to wait on God’s timing, and to be filled by an indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit in order to “run as if to win the prize”.  Worship was led by the very talented & humble “Pursuit” from Greenville College.

So here are a few responses from actual teenagers about this past weekend:   This year from Frostbite:

God told me to be patient, our speaker reminded me to come to God for rest, and I will be praying for slavery to end.

God gave me rest, our speaker reminded me to choose my words carefully and to delve deeper into my relationship with God & His Word. I really enjoyed free time to spend with friends I haven’t seen in a while. There weren’t enough cleaning jobs for all the people on the final day. I’ll be praying for God’s will in a more “near-future” way, instead of “___ years from now”.

God helped my priorities, our speaker taught me that what God’s plan is, is the best. I really enjoyed the cabin time, and being able to talk in small groups.

God gave me good reminders for daily life. I enjoyed everything, and I’m praying for patience.

God taught me about change. I learned there are different versions of God out there that aren’t right. I really enjoyed small group because we were able to talk more in-depth about God. I’m praying for change.

God helped me to think about changing. I learned from the speaker that the best things come slowly. I really enjoyed fbite2014fear factor. I’m praying to change how I study.

God showed me I need to be more patient and think before I speak. I really enjoyed the speakers entertaining style of speaking. The food was really good. We should play soccer instead of football. I’m praying to have patience.

God helped me know him better. One of my favorite things was Fear Factor. They should fix the air conditioning in cabin 12 – we can’t sleep. I’m praying for them to fix it.

God helped me through tough times and helped me cope with things. Our speaker taught me how board games relate to life. I really enjoyed meeting new people, and Frostbite got my mind off a lot of things and I had a good time. Fix cabin 12’s air conditioner. I’m praying that the air conditioner works and my house has a heater.

God introduced me to new awesome people. I learned many new things. The food was so dang yummy. Fix Cabin 12’s air thingy. I’m praying for people forced into slavery.

(leader) God gave me a cabin of girls to remind me of young people pursuing him and this encouraged me on the faith journey. I was reminded why we wait on God’s timing, gossip is hurtful to the soul, and Jesus can be trusted. I really enjoyed “scrambling” seating arrangements at lunch Saturday, because it set the pace for the rest of the weekend to get everyone together playing games and chatting. Maybe we should have 1 more seminar, so 3 instead of 2? I’m praying that the teens will continue to hunger after God and I’ll be an example of that in their lives.

God was here. I learned to hold my tongue. The food was good. Don’t do the Fear Factor egg thing. I’m praying for rest.

God was always around. I learned about games and how some aren’t good. One of my favorite things was meeting/catching up with people. The 1st round of Fear Factor should not involve using our lungs. I’m praying for the slaves.

God showed me some new friends. I learned that there are things out there that threaten my Christianity. One of my favorite things was Frostbite Idol, because I finally overcame my fear of performing in front of a large crowd in a competition. Fix cabin 12’s air conditioner! I’m praying for all the children that are being kidnapped and sold into slavery.

God spoke to me by helping me to realize I need to be more careful about gossip. I learned about bad gossipers. I really enjoyed playing with friends. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m praying for everyone.

God decided we shouldn’t sleep because our air conditioner/heater is broken. I determined that God is testing my resistance to the cold – I’m losing. My favorite thing was not the heater, because it was annoying and smelly. It should be fixed. I’m praying for it.

God taught me a lot. About the McDevil and how we are like that, and all the games connecting to our life situation. I’m going to try to change. One of my favorite things was meeting new friends, because it helps me get closer to God. I think Fear Factor should be grosser. I’m praying for people that are going the wrong direction.

God told me to relax, change, and think about my priorities. I learned about food and scrabble. One of my favorite things was skating on the ice because it was fun. I would add “towels” to the packing checklist. I’m praying for those who I do not get along with.



Husband, Father, Pastor, Missionary, Writer, Poet, Friend, reader, coffee enthusiast, hockey Wing-Nut, musical participator, etc...

One thought on “Winter Retreat

  1. No worries, the “Cabin 12” complaint may simply be user error. Turning it off when you go to bed, opening windows, and even turning on the cool air – all make a heater less functional. 🙂 But we’ll check to make sure.

any thoughts?

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