A Weekend @ the coast...

Ahhhh...it just sounds good doesn't it? And it was! Our family had the honor and privilege of hanging out with about 28 college students over the weekend. Ok, we did a little cooking on the side, ok, a lot of cooking, but it was all a blast! Can I just tell you how amazingly great the kids were!?? They jumped in and cooked, and cleaned, and laughed, and played! Kaylee was stirring up omelets with Ben (one of her leaders in The Zone on Wednesday nights, who is a college student and was on the retreat!); Noah was sweeping up the floor...or getting a 1-inch splinter in his toe (yikes - that really hurt him, and it hurt us to have to take it out...he was so brave!). We tried to fly a kite, that broke as we put it together. We spent a good bit of time on the beach - they had me stand in FREEZING cold water for 10 seconds (I was quite content sitting on the beach blanket watching them in the water, thank you!). But they told me I had to do it, or they were going to throw me in the ocean, which I am sure they would have done.

One of the coolest moments was Saturday morning as we headed out to check out the beach @ 8:30 am (yes, 8:30 am - dressed, and on the beach!). We went to see if we could find any sealife in the tidepools on the far side of the beach, and when we got closer, one of the students was sitting on a rock, the tide coming in little by little, and he was singing his heart out for Jesus. It was soooooo cool! We didn't stick around too long, because we wanted to honor this sacrifice as praise, and his personal sanctuary for him and The Lord alone. I mean - this guy was praising God. He was singing loud and clear enough for the entire beach to hear it...even when you were standing many many yards away and with the waves crashing in. There was passion - and connection - and it was clear all he wanted was to be with God. It was a beautiful thing.

Jane Wolf (one of our Pastors of LifePath ministries) spoke, and while I admit I didn't get to hear her as much as I had hoped, I can say the bits I heard were a challenge to me, to think about the assumptions I have about life and about God. She was honest about her life and the circumstances she has experienced. Her vulnerability and honesty instantly drew you in to wanting to hear more...which ultimately led you to sitting at the feet of God to hear directly from Him. And David Burnham (what a great guy) led in worship --- I loved hearing all kinds of music throughout the weekend, that again, took you right to the throne room of God to meet Him face to face. Like I said, I didn't get to experience as much of the "teaching" moments as I had hoped...but the few I did were good for me. I missed a video she showed in the closing session. Steve saw the last minute of it, and when he walked into our room, he was in tears.

Anyway - this was an exciting and amazing weekend for us. It was a blessing to get away from home and be at THE COAST!! and to meet some new Salem friends...and to joyfully serve Him while serving these students --- who are clearly wonderful and fun and kind and just plain ol' cool! We loved every single minute of it! Thanks Patrick for inviting us! We'd do it again in a second!!



©2009 Until... | by TNB