Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Third Fall Retreat (PART 2)

Saturday, October 17th
By now it was about midnight. I was originally interested in tagging along with some of them (roughly half of them I think) to play their version of Capture the Flag, so I joined their meeting in the big church pavilion. But after going over the rules and such, how far out into the fields it would be, and remembering how late it was, I figured it best for me to get some sleep. Speaking from experience here; if I didn't find a good 'early' opportunity and take it, my chances of getting enough sleep (if any) were low.
So I slipped away quietly from the pavilion and went into the guys' cabin. It was empty except this Korean guy Chris who was here for his first time. We basically hung out in that small bunk room and talked for a while, him sitting on one of the bunks and me (more or less) pacing the floor. We exchanged some background stories, I told him a few things about how last years' retreats went, how we were taught the lessons we learned, I told him some things that came into my mind whenever I thought about sharing the gospel with someone too...
I laughed, surprised how much I wound up saying. I didn't see it coming mere minute before, but I wound up sharing flat-out the gospel in my own words, to this one guy the same way I'd say anything else. Without other people looking up at me it was much easier to do, but I think that's the key; to just relax and do it like you're talking to any other friend.

The first night was tricky, since it was colder than I expected it to be. I was layered in pajamas and my fleece sleeping bag. Plus the door was latched, but that didn't do much to keep warm air in. One of my friends came in to unlatch the door since other guys had knocked on it several times, and lent me an extra pillow and comforter (guess I didn't look very warm to him either). That helped a lot. I was still pretty chilly, but I did manage to get some sleep out of it. It felt like very off-and-on dozing, so to this day I still don't know how much sleep I actually got. Doesn't matter though.
I was surprised that I didn't hear a single snore. It seemed like there was barely anyone in the cabin. I was happy and relieved about that, but still it had me curious...

The day itself was really good, and always my favorite day of these retreats since the most stuff happened on the Saturdays. I mean, it's a whole day (as opposed to our Friday night and Sunday morning). So obviously there's going to be some agenda.
Breakfast was around eight. I had a bowl of honey nut cheerios and made a cup of coffee (with honey stirred into it) to warm myself up again.

After breakfast we went out to the church pavilion for a game of Dragon Tail, which I enjoyed very much since it was funny, and then after that some of us did some version of Musical Chairs (involving towels; every time someone wen out they'd have to fold it some of the way). Not all of us did that one either but it was fun to watch.

Our lesson this morning was about knowing your audience. Here's some of the stuff I wrote down for notes:
- God's goal isn't to make bad people good. It's to make dead people alive.
- When we share the gospel, we're (hopefully) moving someone forward; emotionally and intellectually. Emotionally engaged.
- We're not called to act lovingly. We're called to love (there is a difference)

After the lesson came lunchtime (in my case, another cup of coffee). A close friend, Jenny, had texted me a while ago saying she was on her way. And now, right after I finished making the coffee, she had arrived. So I went outside and showed her where the girls' cabin was so she could get settled.
We had lunch, and I showed her around the park while a bunch of the others were (by my guess) off on some scavenger hunt, or playing bubble soccer, or throwing a football in the second field over. This time of day was the "free time" where the rest of us would just do whatever. I didn't care much for sports anyway, so I took that opportunity to spend some quality relaxing time with Jenny.

Following dinner, a few games in the pavilion a few hours later, and the band rehearsing inside, then came worship and our next lesson.
The main focus of this one was about worldview, meaning how others see the things that we share and talk to them about;
- How we say things can greatly influence what people hear (Is what they HEAR the same as what WE SAY?)
- Adapt/communicate it without changing the gospel itself

After the lesson we had a few minutes to prepare for whatever we were doing for the No Talent Talent Show (if we signed up).
First up went my buddy Ryan Galdo and his friend Calla (this was apparently her first time with Thrive too),  singing "Barton Hollow." THRIVE Fall Retreat 2015- Ryan and Calla "Barton Hollow"
There was a variety of other acts too like card tricks for example. This guy Jon gave a brief intro for each one, which made it pretty interesting. So before I went up to do my act, he said something about "...exotic parts of India..." Then it was my turn, performing a Baloo-Bagheera scene from The Jungle Book.
(I don't have the video of my act unfortunately, due to technical difficulties. But this is the scene I did, or at least most of it )
Here's a fun fact for ya; I was worried that when I did the last few lines of the scene (starting where Baloo says "but I love that kid. I love him like he was my own cub") I was gonna just start crying right up there. Well, if I had then I could probably harness it to get that emotional core of the performance/character out. But the worry was that I might end up blubbering and not getting the words out right. I guess it's a good thing I didn't, but I did try a little to make it sound like I could tear up any minute.

Later on, the intro for Jenny said something like, "taking a little trip to Europe..." and "...on the Irish side." She did some of her Irish dancing, which was pretty cool to see. The girl can prance like a deer!
 My friend Toria with this girl Elissa did another VERY messy sketch where Elissa posed at Toria's arms. They did this the last couple retreats; "Making Pancakes" was last year's, and this year's "How to be Fabulous" was just as hilarious if not more. They had a lot of makeup/mess to clean up off themselves and the table when it was over, but everyone was just cracking up the whole time.

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