Monday, October 1, 2012

Girls Retreat... or desperately trying to plant words of life & wisdom

We had our Girls Retreat this weekend and it was definitely a first. There are so many things I know I will have to do differently or earlier but I'm so glad we went for it! The boys had their camp out this weekend so we had the campus to ourselves. As we looked over the calendar before school started, Heidi and I realized this weekend would be perfect for a girls retreat! (I had become inspired by this book I ordered from Amazon: Girls Ministry 101.) So, we set the date and started planning, in sporadic moments when we would switch the phone or just whenever we'd get a chance to talk about it. Point being, if it were'nt for God helping put the frantically placed pieces together, this weekend would have been a disaster! Most of the girls stayed (we had 19) and it seemed they enjoyed it! We started on Friday night for an Agape Feast out in the commons area next to the gazebo. I really wanted to string up lights to make it look enchanted and all was well until I realized that I couldn't plug the lights into the power strip because both sides were flat... Jared, the maintenance man actually came over and we were able to figure it out but I was pretty stressed for about 20 minutes!














Heidi made all the food for the entire weekend and it was all so very delicious! On Friday night, we had an agape feast so there was lentil and potato soup, fruit trays, home made bread, cheese spread, and juice. Heidi then gave a worship thought, reading the geneology of Jesus in the beginning of Matthew and mentioning the women. She talked about how the only way we will truly be remembered for our good characteristics is if we have God in our lives. Afterward, we spent like half an hour just singing songs out there. I asked one of the girls to take photos and I think she did an amazing job, don't you? (My photos have a tendency to come out blurry and off-center, so I was glad to give the job of photographer to someone else!)

On Sabbath morning, I woke up early to set up the Rec Room for Breakfast. I had looked at some ideas I had collected from Pinterest (LOVE that website) and drew a tentative layout, then I went shopping in Show Low and Snowflake for the materials I would need. With  a $50 budget, I feel like we did the best we could (but I will continue to scower through websites to see other ingenious ways to stretch the dollar when it comes to decorating and event planning). The little girls were especially excited!












After a late-ish breakfast, we had Sabbath School. I talked about God's love for us and how we need to understand His love (how it satisfies our EVERY need) before we start looking for a relationship with any guy. Friday night, after vespers, I had no idea what I was going to do, but I think God was merciful (because I should have prepared this a long time ago) and gave me this topic of His love for us. We went through some scripture and I showed several songs about God's love (How He Loves Us, Beloved by Tenth Avenue North, and Like an Avalanche by Hillsong were a few I played).

Then, Jovannah delivered our sermon. She talked about life on the reservation for her and all that she had to overcome in order to be at the point she is today. I thought it was very creative how she wove this idea together. She used the topic of cards. In a card game, if you are given a bad hand you try to switch out your cards. She made her own stack of cards with situations written on them like: alcoholic parents, parents without a job, being raped or sexually abused, not having enough food to eat, etc. Then she said with God's help, we can make the most of the cards dealt to us. Even though we cannot choose the situation we were born into, we can choose where we will end up. Throughout the message she shared some personal testimonies, which I thought were so powerful because, as a Native American woman, she can connect so much better with these girls!



After church, we headed over to the cafeteria for lunch (Heidi needed a well-deserved break!) and had some down time before our workshops. Leanne and Mrs. Gungle were willing to talk to the girls for about an hour from 3-4pm. Leanne talked about finding a good guy and Mrs. Gungle talked about child abuse. During this time, I had my youngest girl watch a Veggie Tales at my apartment while I whipped up the facials for that night! At about 4:30, we went on a walk to the gulley behind the girls dorm and I made some reflection envelopes. Inside, I had put a piece of paper with several pieces of Scripture (all were passages of encouragement and about God's love for us) and a piece of journal paper. I told the girls to find a place in the gulley to spend some time alone with God. (I really wish I had brought my camera because it was such a beautiful picture seeing all the girls sitting in nooks and crannies or laid out on boulders.) Then we had supper!

Once the sun set, we had facials and foot soaks! The girls really had a great time with that! Then Jovannah (who is IMMENSELY  talented) painted the girls' nails. After getting pampered up, we watched the first two Anne of Green Gables movies. The girls loved it and became fans of Gilbert!














This morning, we had brunch and that ended our Girls Retreat. It is my hope that we continue to do this every year and that it gets better every time we do it! (I would like to bring in a team from a university or college to come and do our program, eventually!)

I know there was a huge time gap between this post and the previous, but that goes to show you how busy dorm life is! I love my job and I feel so honored to be here. Please continue to pray that God may keep piling on the blessings for this dorm, these students, and this school!