Monday, March 16, 2015


One of the measurements we use to gauge the success of a GTD event is whether or not our participants want to come back again. Based on that one indicator I would have to say this past weekend was an overwhelming success. God blessed us with such a great time. The students, the volunteer leaders, and Pastor Justin and Carie made it easy to succeed. They were so much fun and dove into every part of the retreat with positive Godly attitudes. Justin and Carie made the most of every opportunity to speak into their student's lives and convert our daily adventures into teachable moments for Biblical life principles. The students soaked it in! Our prayer is that God uses each of our events as part of a transformation process as we strive to become more Christlike. Our time around the campfire each night became a time to share highlights of the day, sing praise & worship, and dive into a challenge from Pastor Justin... as well as a time to make some smores. In the mornings we took time to seek God through prayer and reading from the Bible. Then we would come back around the fire ring and share what God was teaching us. It's always an amazing time to listen to young people share what God is teaching them... which also ends up teaching us as well. One of my highlights from the weekend came when we were 30 feet underground in a cave and we all turned off our headlamps so we could experience total darkness. The students wanted to sing a praise song with the lights off. It was such a powerful moment. This morning also served as another highlight as we watched 22 young participants work hard to breakdown & pack-up camp before leaving. They did a FANTASTIC job. We gathered up for one final farewell and hugs goodbye. As the group drove away one of our GTD volunteers commented that this had been a great group of students that displayed positive attitudes, strong work ethic, and a real hunger for God. All I could say was that the students are a reflection of their leadership. We are excited to see what God is doing in the lives of the youth at Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater and we were blessed to work with Justin, Carie, Dickie, and Denise. We look forward to watching what God continues to do in and through Elevate High School Youth Group!