This past weekend, Danielle and I and are friends, Dave and Jenna, took a group of 8 kids to Carlisle for the annual Breakaway weekend. This year’s weekend was themed around the film, Over the Hedge.
These weekends are always a blast, and this year was no exception. In spite of my worrying, we arrived at the conference center with plenty of time to sign in and unpack before the evening service began.
The services start out with lots of loud, energetic music playing while the kids hit beach balls in the air and get some of their energy out of their systems. Praise and worship time usually follows soon after, followed by short lessons, more singing, prayer, and of course – game time.
As I mentioned, the theme was about going over the hedges in our lives that keep us from telling our friends about Jesus and about God’s great love for them. It seems so simple when you look at it from a child’s perspective, and yet so difficult sometimes when looked at from an adult perspective. I know the weekend definitely challenged me.
The kids were also treated to some puppet shows featuring Joe the Gardner and his puppet friend Kenny, who was shown working up the courage to witness to one of his friends throughout the weekend.
As an added treat, the boys won the points competition this year. All weekend long points are calculated based on games, Bible verse memorization, and other activities. Since the girls’ team lost, their mascot (the raccoon) had to take a pie in the face at the end of the weekend.
It’s funny, because the first night the kids wanted to stay up just about all night long, but by the second night, Dave and I were actually the last ones asleep.
We had our share of mishaps along the way, including me getting sick and one of our campers locking both doors leading into our bathroom, but we had a great time. I’m always exhausted when I come home from the retreat, but it is well worth it.
I wish I could more adequately put down in words everything we experienced this weekend, but sometimes that is a difficult thing to do.
I would be remiss if I didn’t share the message we learned from this weekend by the end of this post. Please know, whomever you are, that God is real. God loves you. He loves you more than anything in the world. He sent His Son Jesus to die for you so that you can have forgiveness of sins and spend eternity with Him. It’s really that simple when it comes right down to it. It all boils down to:
- God Loves
- God Gave (He gave his Son, Jesus)
- We Believe (in Jesus and accept Him as our Savior)
- We Receive (the gift of eternal life)