Friday, March 07, 2008

Mind the Gaps

Last weekend, Dear Husband and I enjoyed the privilege and blessing of overseeing the Youth Retreat of our International Fellowship. Over 60 youth from 12 countries, six helpers, Dear Husband, myself, and one other parent traveled to the beautiful northern Jordanian town of Ajloun, retreating to a hilltop surrounded by pine forests, with a view of of the Crusader period castle which sits a top an olive tree covered hill.

The theme of the weekend was "Mind the Gaps", a play on the recorded reminder broadcasted in the British Underground, and all the talks and small group discussions were concerned with the topic of relationships. Dear Husband laid the foundation for all relationships by teaching from Psalm 103 about our relationship with God.

College student and high school student (Oldest Daughter) leaders helped the youth consider what the Bible has to say about our relationship with Adults, Peers, and Sinners (recognizing that referring to unbelievers as sinners was a slightly inaccurate as we are all sinners, but it helped to complete the acronymn).

After each talk, small groups, led by a student leader, meet together to discuss the principles and truths presented in the talks, and to pray for one another.

On Friday morning we journeyed over to the castle, a fortress built during the Crusades by Azz ad-Din Usama, relative of Salah ad-Din in an effort to limit the expansion of the Crusader Kingdom. The castle was part of the chain of beacons which could transmit news by pigeon post from the Euphrates frontier to Cairo headquarters in twelve hours. (The Rough Guide to Jordan)

The Youth participated in a castle activity developed and carried out by the student leaders. It reminded me of a sort of Pilgrim's Progress mini-journey: Proceeding in groups of three, two youth helped guide one blindfolded youth through the castle, stopping at various points to hear student leaders read various passages which explained the gospel.

The youth had to answer questions about the gospel before proceeding on their journey and they had to discern truth from error as a couple of leaders where positioned along the way, tempting them to go astray.

Whenever there was free-time, these youth played and played hard. It was such a blessing to watch all these city kids set loose in the country as they ran freely in the fresh spring air.

Presentation of Team Chants

I think that Dear Husband and I were both surprised to discover how much we enjoyed spending the weekend with all these great young people. I really have not had so much fun in a long time. May God bless this next generation as they grow in their knowledge of Him!

An Ajloun Sunset

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