Campout- Nothing in Vain

Jonathan, Patrick, and I returned from the youth group's annual fall retreat on last Monday. It was a blast to spend 2 full days with the students in the cloud forest at the beautiful camp La Cumbre. Each night of the retreat, Mark Flach, who was the youth director of the IYG 5 years ago, spoke on the fundamentals of the faith. Many students responded with an eagerness to go deeper in their walk with the Lord.
One of the most important aspects of this campout were small groups. Each group was lead by a student leader. In addition to discussing as a group the previous night's talk, the students rotated among various activities: a prayer walk (really a prayer scoot as they called it), rappelling, team building activities, group games, creating a skit, and doing a service project for the camp.

It was so neat for Jonathan and I to plan all of the activities and use our skills from our time working at Miami University. Going into marriage, Jonathan and I both knew that we wanted to be missionaries. We also knew that the Lord had clearly lead us to Oxford, Ohio to take care of Jonathan's grandmother. It was in Oxford that we started working for Miami University's Outdoor Pursuit Center. One aspect of our job was leading small groups in doing team building activities. I remember thinking back then, Lord, how in the world will you use this experience to advance your Gospel? It just seems like we now know a ton of games. Two and a half years later, after the Lord transitioned us out of Ohio and into Costa Rica, we used those very skills to help our youth groupers bond as a small group and to build relationships where Christ is modeled. The Lord uses every drop of every experience for His glory!

Enjoy the pictures taken by Melissa and Eliza!


  1. Was wondering how the camp went...thanks for the great update. The old youth leader looks pretty intense and buff from the picture. :-) Matthew M


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