ccEngage Youth Group goes Backpacking!

Loren and I were asked if our youth group could go back packing and we thought it would be a great idea, with the help of our 3 wonderful youth leaders. It was great, my friends. We fully enjoyed ourselves as we packed 40 lbs on our back and dug our heels up and down rocky terrain. With only one sprained ankle and two foot-cuts, the trip closed with honor! Memories were made that will never be forgotten. Example: Luke, Loren, Brenden and I decided to take a "short voyage around the lake before dinner time," because Tumble Lake is maybe 1-2 miles around the entire thing! Turns out, there is absolutely no trail to do this adventure with ease so we just made our way. Wearing shorts and t shirts, we carried Luke's pet rubber-boa snake through the elder trees, swampy mud, and stinging nettles that were 6 feet high. We passed by a hornets nest and only Loren was stung. We waded through the shin-deep swamp that quickly went to high waist-deep because of the sinking sand. Our 15 minute voyage turned into 2 and a half hours and that is a couple of hours I will not soon forget.

Our weekend had no shortage of laughter. I have a six pack of abs from my two tent buddies (Graice + Delayna). Talk about goof balls and silly jokes. SO much joy. We had campfires and roasted mallows and hot dogs. Loren and I both shared the speaking load. Our theme was walking with God. Our hearts were focused on walking in the Light of God and emphasizing the importance of falling in love with the Love Letter God himself has left for us (the Bible). We talked about walking in the darkness, tripping on roots and rocks; all we need is some light to expose the danger. As soon as we shed light on sin, it is not nearly as huge as it seemed. Like Kim always says, "mushrooms only grow in the dark." We talked about walking in the muck of sin - darknesses & sins like choosing to be selfish at home, seeking only our own desires, and never looking out for others. We talked about the purity of our mind and how being in God's presence will only do us good, make us more like Christ. That when we soak our souls in Him, sunbathe in His light, we radiate His love. We glorify Him and bless others. Its all about Jesus and all about spending time with Him and letting Him love you.

Changing this world begins with us allowing Christ to transform us individually.

As we spend time with Him, dying to our desires and yielding to His, we become more beautiful, more whole, more satisfied, more like HIM. We become light as our darkness fades away. We bring hope and joy to this world, but only by the power of His spirit. We are so un-incredible and He is more than incredible. His grace is sufficient.

One of our students is now planning to be baptized at camp in August! Praise Jesus.

We prayed together, and oh how I love praying with these kids. We prayed unity and peace, we prayed joy and love, that we may each see ourselves and each other with the eyes of Christ. That we would be humans of grace, because of His transforming love. That we would be a team standing tall on His promises, and bring the Kingdom of Heaven to our cities and schools.

Oh friends, it was good. Loren and I got home Tuesday around 4:15 pm. Put away all of our things by 5:30 pm. Sat on the couch staring blankly, then tried watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air..around 8 pm we slowly crawled into bed and slept for 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS! WE SLEPT IN UNTIL 8! It was beautiful. I was so blessed and refreshed and full of smiles.

We have some amazing kids here in Corvallis. Be praying with us! Our vision for the next year is to have a weekly bible study/prayer group in every school campus by the end of June 2015. This year, our Linus Pauling Middle School students started one after CIY Believe - began with 4 and grew to 14. FOURTEEN TEENAGERS MEETING TO PRAY! Every Monday! Can you taste the goodness and see the reach? Can you do the math? There are at least 6 campuses represented in our youth group. Pray with us that we can equip these students and build them up. That they would continue to experience the deep, unending love of Jesus Christ. That as they experience His love and grace, the result is to go out and make disciples. That is our calling, friends.

More is in the making, partnering with other small churches without youth pastors. Please be praying for Loren and I and for our beautiful church community. Pray for our youth leaders and for our students. We highly value discipleship. We have so many dreams and visions of what more it could look like. Pray with us; click HERE to read more about our fundraising and paying the bills.

We are so grateful that Loren isn't working full time at Trillium anymore. Thank you, team! We could not do it without you. Truly. Your investment is reaching many lives. Jesus is so faithful.

Enjoy the photos below of our backpacking trip from start of the hill to finish of the hill; if you happen to be a parent, you can save these to your desktop or cell phone. Let me know if you need help.

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So many huckleberries were eaten!

First glimpse of Tumble Lake!

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This is the "poop talk" ... you know, go dig a hole and cover it up!

The partnering in...yeahhhh

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Filtering lake water

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Evening musical worship

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Quiet times in the mornings

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so much laughter

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so much laughter

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Luke's pet Rubber Boa, Moses #Mosesthesnake

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Oh no..

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