I am two days shy of going away again. I am preparing to take about 35 people to Houston, Texas to the Impact Church of Christ for their amazing summer VBS program that they put on each year. This is our group’s second year going to Impact. Last year was an unbelievable experience. God met us there, met me there, and rocked my world! I am expecting God to show up in a big way again to meet our kids and adults in their brokenness, and minister to them and to use them in a big way to make a difference in the lives of the inner city children of Houston.

Last week I was at Camp Lu-Jo KISMIF. I have been either at first week, and or second week every summer since 2004. I love Lu-Jo. This year, I only got to be there for the second week, I taught 9th-10th grade guys. Brett Williams, Brian Smith, Ryan Farthing and I had 24 of coolest kids on the planet. A lot of the guys in our group were from Chisholm Trail, others were former students of mine from the last 6 years. Needless to say, God showed up once again at Lu-Jo. It was a good week. The week culminated with three of our guys putting Christ on in baptism. I love the staff, and the way God has allowed me to minister to the students there.

The week before Peak Week, I had the opportunity to go to LCU for Encounter! Wow!! I was blown away by the quality of the classes, the speakers, and just the setting in general. The worship was amazing, and I would say Encounter at LCU this year was one of the best camp experiences I have ever had. The theme was “Broken,” and I knew God would meet the kids that came in their brokenness, but I wasn’t expecting for God to meet me in mine. I had another incredible rainbow moment. Thursday night, it was going to storm. I made a new accountability buddy, and as we talked and prayed, there behind us was a beautiful rainbow over West Texas. I am reminded of a God who keeps his promises, and who doesn’t run from our messes. I see in the rainbow, a God who joins humanity in our brokenness and in our messes and lovingly begins to put the world, and our lives back to order in and through Jesus Christ!

And one of the things I love the most about the summer in youth ministry is all the great conversations that take place with the teens.

“Father, bless our trip to Houston!, Use us to make a difference, but use the kids there to make a difference in our lives as well. I pray that you meet each one of us in our messes, show up, touch us, mold us, heal us. God, we are excited about this trip, we ask for safe travel to and from, but ultimately God I want to see you work and be forever changed by your presence among us! In Jesus name, Amen”


About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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