Dare To Hope

This week I was feeling super apprehensive prior to a retreat because of our team being sick in the previous couple days. We were going to be very outnumbered by a famously rowdy bunch of grade eights.

The person who was supposed to give the talk was sick, so one of my teammates gave a talk completely unrelated to the theme, “Dare to Hope,”. We didn’t do any dramas during the retreat day because too many people were unwell, one of the testimonies had to be taken out because the teammate assigned to that testimony lost her voice, one of our team members was sick in the backroom all day, and our small groups consisted of  10-14 people. 

This sounds like a recipe for disaster, but the day went so smoothly. Prayer ministry was so powerful. I had such certainty and I felt such consolation that the Holy Spirit was present in the church. I led the retreat and I felt called to ask the students if they wanted to commit their lives to Christ in prayer stations with the NET team. I explained the kerygma, that we had a perfect relationship with God in the beginning, then through our sin, that relationship with God is broken. I explained that God through Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for our sins so we could have an opportunity to have a relationship with God again, and that He is waiting for us to come back to Him. I explained that saying this prayer with the NET team members would be responding to this invitation to have a relationship with Him. After I finished speaking, right away several students stood up and went to be prayed with. I was so overwhelmed at that moment by their response that I felt like I could cry. God is just so good and funny. I thought it would be a horrible day and I thought I would dread everything. My mindset was, let’s just get through this, then it’s the weekend. This felt like God laughing at me and saying, “how can you pretend like you know how things are going to turn out. You are not God. How did you forget my goodness?” 

Now I realize the irony of the theme of the day, “Dare to Hope '', I was worried about leading this chaotic day. I wanted to avoid this difficult situation, this challenge, but God showed me that His plan is so much better than I could ever imagine. 

After the retreat, my team and I were all sharing about how lovely the students had been and how our expectations were totally wrong. I believe everything is a grace from God. He allowed us to do this retreat that I thought would never bring about good so that He could show us how capable He is, how much more we need to be relying on Him. The retreat we put on contained a fraction of the activities a normal retreat day does, but it brought about the same result because God is the one who brings about conversion.  He does not need to use us to bring about conversion, but He chooses to use us.

Rebecca Pruner, Team 3