Last month, we reported on the Kairos Youth Equipped to Stand (YES!) Retreat that was held March 25-27. This month, we get to hear from three of the youth participants.
Some of the youth evaluations are straightforward, like this one from a teen:
“During the YES retreat, the Lord shared a word with me. He said that I am not broken. I feel like at some point in all our lives, we feel empty inside and broken. But God is here to tell us that we are healed and forgiven for our sins. Our sins don’t define who we are. God loves us as we are.”
Some of our youth had been struggling spiritually before the retreat, and experienced a new closeness with the Lord:
“I came to the YES Retreat tired emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, I was coming out of a period of spiritual ‘dryness.’ I was struggling to pray consistently and then beating myself up mentally when I failed. I was getting discouraged because every time I resolved to get up early and pray, I found myself sleeping in. I got to the point that I didn’t really see the point in trying again. I didn’t see people I could relate to in that regard. At the beginning of the retreat, I asked the Lord for peace, joy, and perseverance (especially as I was leaving for a mission trip in Washington D.C. literally the morning after I got home from the retreat).
“Throughout the retreat, the Lord helped me enter worship in a way I had never been able to before. At a Christian summer camp several years ago, I asked for the gift of prophesy and was disappointed when I didn’t feel that I had received it right away. At the retreat, I felt the Lord speaking to me during worship in a new way and giving me not only a word, but also the courage to share it. I was able to share it with my YES small group.
“The talks and testimonies at the retreat were super relatable, and at multiple points I felt like the speakers were speaking directly to me. Overall, the Lord showed up big time and I left feeling joyful, peaceful, refreshed and ready to serve on the mission trip.”
Some of our youth merely wanted more!
“On Saturday night, the talk was about asking the Lord for a double portion. Later in our small groups we were asked what we wanted to receive from the Lord. I decided that I wanted a double portion of His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. I was the first one prayed over in my group, and it was very beautiful. One thing that I had been seeking though this retreat was to get to know Jesus as a living person, and not just as a far-off being.
“Receiving a double portion of His Spirit made His Presence more real to me, and all I did was ask for a gift. After I had been prayed over, I was able to pour out my double portion by praying over my small group members. This really struck me, because I realized the Lord gives us gifts so that we can bring Him to others by using the gifts He gives.”
Watching the Lord touch each one of our young people personally is a highlight of serving at the YES! Retreat. Bringing youth closer to Jesus is an amazing privilege. Thank you so much for your support; I am happy to be on mission with each of you.
Blessings on you and your families as we enter these summer months.
Your Brother in Christ,