We are back from taking our high schoolers to CIY's Move conference. We had an absolutely fantastic week! These kids are simply incredible. This was a first time experience for everyone except Chris and me. Vicki came with us, but even she had never been before. None of them had any idea what to expect, and all of them were blown away. Before we left for the conference, we had a bunch of individuals who would show up for Sunday school and youth group on a semi-regular basis, and have the usual "Hi, how are you?" conversations with one another. Before we left to come back to Dallas, these kids were a family. Aside from experiencing Christ in a way that they could never have imagined, I think that the most incredible thing they discovered was each other!
Unfortunately, we had one student who was, at the last minute, unable to come with us. She was put in the hospital the Monday before we left, and will continue to be there for many weeks to come. Our great God, though, managed to bring some good out of the tragedy. These nine high school students have experienced the body of Christ as it is intended to be. The unified over the common goal of encouraging their sister, and fighting for her in prayer. I have never seen such a genuine outpouring of love. The most powerful moment of the week was when we, in the middle of Friday evenings worship service, felt the Holy Spirit leading us to immediately hit our knees and cry out to the Lord on her behalf. With tear stained faces, and hands lifted to heaven each student, prayed, wept, and pleaded for her frail body to be healed and for her heart and mind to be released from Satan's grip. I saw, we all saw, and some of us for the very first time, the Church as God intended it. I know that lives were changed. I know that God healed and united hearts. I can't wait to see what He is going to do over the next year! I have seen, far too many times, kids come back from this kind of experience only to return to the life that they led before they left. I am praying that this will not be the case for these kids, and I serve a God who is powerful enough to really change hearts. I believe He will. I believe He already did.
Plus we had a lot of fun!