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Middle School Retreat, 2018

Sep 26 2018

Most years my middle school class at Windham (Maine) Christian Academy does a retreat in the first few weeks of school. We use this experience to work on team building, spiritual growth and developing our juggling/magic/drama ministry known as LOL. This year we scheduled a one day retreat to go from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. It was to be held at Lakewood Lodge, a retreat center owned by the family of another WCA teacher.

We arrived at the beautiful lodge right on time, and began the day with some free time. This allowed the class time to have fun with the foosball, ping pong, pool and air hockey tables. Will, Gideon and Malakai took turns playing the piano, and all three are quite skilled.

After a while, I pulled the kids together in the crisp autumn air of the center's yard and we did a variety of cooperative team building games. Everyone participated and had a great time. We returned indoors to do a couple of more mellow activities before lunch. Half way through these, the other chaperone said, "There's water coming from under that door." I went to check in the room marked No Admittance, only to find the room was the boiler room, and a broken pipe in the ceiling had broken. It was spraying fairly hot water at an alarming rate. In seconds I was soaked, and I couldn't find the valve to shut off the water. A quick call to my coworker alerted him to the problem and he set off on his 40 minute drive from school to the center. Meanwhile, the flood kept coming, and I simply couldn't stop it. Through it all the students were great.

While waiting for Dave to arrive, I called my principal. We agreed that there was no way we could stay at the center until 7 PM given the circumstances. We briefly discussed finishing the retreat at school that day, but I was absolutely soaked. Instead, we decided we'd finish the retreat at school the next day. Again, the kids had great attitudes and showed no discouragement from the interruptions.

So we finished the retreat the next day. We had chapel, more team building games, an intensive LOL rehearsal, lunch and a final class chapel focused on vision casting for the year of ministry that lay ahead, specifically by sharing with them stories of how God has used LOL in past years.

I am thankful for a group of kids who are enthusiastic, flexible and positive through ups and downs. This should be a great year.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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