Written by Drew Hammond, Bhutanese Apprentice/Bhutanese Youth Group Coordinator
Over the weekend, Youth Group was officially launched at a local skating rink. Why was renting a roller skating rink an essential activity for Youth Group and what does it have to do with the Gospel?
In Matthew 14 we find my favorite story of Jesus. Just before this story, Jesus has sent the disciples ahead of Him on a boat. Late at night He comes walking on the water to them and they become afraid. Jesus says to them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.” Then in verses 28-33 are where my favorite part happens: “Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
Our students of Youth Group find themselves in a similar situation as Peter. They hear Jesus calling them to step out in faith, but when they do, the things around them cause their faith to falter in fear. Youth Group is a space where students can experience Jesus reaching out to them, inviting them into greater trust and worship; even when we are at a roller skating rink. While it is a bit of a stretch to compare falling down at a roller rink to walking on water, the vision is still there. Many of our students had only roller skated once, if at all. They were excited to learn something new and were overjoyed when they could watch their own progress, and the progress of their peers. This created a wonderful opportunity for the staff of Mission Adelante to not only help students back to their feet when they fell, but to teach them how to balance and eventually skate at full speed. If we had not rented the skating rink to have a private party for ourselves, there would have been far too many other people for our students to feel safe and comfortable falling down, getting back up, and growing in their skills. That is exactly what Youth Group is like.
Youth Group is a place where our students can be welcomed, loved, and accepted as who God has made them to be; and encouraged to become followers of Jesus. Surrounded by adult followers of Christ, who can walk with them through the challenges that come, all the while encouraging them to be courageous in their faith so they can joyfully worship God and experience spiritual family.
To read more about Youth Group, see a previous Adelante Express written by Drew Hammond here: A Spiritual Family for Third Culture Students
- Our Leaders in Training (LIT) students are hungry when they arrive at Mission Adelante after school. We go through about 80 individually wrapped snacks a week! Next time you are at Costco or Sams, think of us and purchase some snacks for us. You can drop them off at Mission Adelante during regular business hours, Monday - Thursday 9:00 - 5:00.