I wanted to explain to all of you what Happening is. My sister was on Happening staff this weekend in Alexandria, LA. The reason I explain is because it is something so big in my life and I pray to always be a part of this movement!
Happening is a statewide Methodist retreat held twice a year for high school aged youth. It is lead by, run by, and put on by youth, though there are a few adults who do staff (but they by no means run the show!). To tell you that this experience, this "retreat" is incredible wouldn't even begin to sum up what God does at these weekends.
In January of 1995, I went all by myself to the Baptist conference center in Pineville, LA and for the first time in my life I knew what it meant to 'know' Christ. I was raised in church and active in my youth group, but this experience was different, it changed my life. I began to see everything in a different light and it began forming the person that I am today. That was Happening #5, this weekend was #36, so I'd say it's been pretty successful! Life-changing it definitely is!
So, last summer my sister and I were privledged enough to serve on staff together as adults! Rene' is 5.5 years younger than me, so when it was her time to go through I was in college (and astray from God), so we didn't quite 'share' that experience. To be able to go back all these years later, to see the movement still in action, to serve alongside my best friend/sister, was more than I could have hoped for in one weekend.
I said it at the end of that experience and I will continue to say it...Media paints such a picture of todays youth, as being lost, troubled, troubling, confused, like they are a scarey place to lay our future. Not these youth, not these upcoming adults who love God and serve one another with hearts that don't see color, don't see status, don't see anything but the love of Christ. These youth are our future, and it's so bright I have to wear shades (or loan out my Coach ones to Micheal!). If you are in Louisiana, or know anyone who lives there and is youth age (or the few lucky adults who get to experience it!), do it!! Let me know and I'll pass the information along!
Here I sit wishing I were still at the conference center, surrounded by those wonderful people and so grateful that God blessed me with the opportunity over 15 years ago to become part of that community and continue to be a part today.
Youth ministry is a calling I'm sure, which I've felt, and it must be true because it feels like nothing but pure joy to me! Watching young people love God and love others without abandon, that's kingdom work, and that's what it's all about!!!
***I do want to say thank you to all of you who have posted and written and commented and prayed and thought about us! We feel the prayers and we are grateful to be surrounded by so many people who love us so deeply!****
Rietman Family Thanksgiving Cruise
1 week ago