Greetings Webernet. We’re writing you from the road today on the way home from a great week at South Padre Island. As you know, our gameplan was to post daily updates, but the schedule down here didn’t really lend itself to that. We were pretty much running from breakfast to bedtime everyday and looking for a solid night’s sleep in between. Add to that the fact that we couldn’t get on said webernet at the hotel. Made for a tough Postcard week!
Let me tell you that you should be incredibly impressed with these high school students that we had the pleasure of spending the week with. All of us as leaders came away so encouraged by what God is doing in their lives and how they are responding. Small group times were always a joy as we got to process through seminars and teaching times and all-around experiences. We spent our family time worshiping together, sharing our lives with one another, and…well…bungee jumping together! Dodgeball and beach volleyball didn’t work out the way we planned, but we had a great time playing and competing. The team we lost to in v-ball ended up winning the championship and we had only lost to them 9-7. There’s always next year.
At the risk of this post being really long, we’re going to post some student reflections here. Enjoy the read…it’s a good one! Check back for lots more pics from Padre and NOLA alike!
This week has truly been amazing! For the past month I’ve been constantly on the go, living out of a suitcase, traveling from place to place, and it’s been a beautiful time for me to grow closer to my Savior. He’s revealed a lot to me. One of those things has been how awesome it is to experience true community with people. After being in Uganda and at camp the previous three weeks, and then this week in Padre, I’ve seen God so much in simply the people I’ve been spending time with! It is so cool to be surrounded by people who are seeking to know our awesome God, and to be able to learn, play, pray, and worship together 24/7! I can’t wait to go home and take all of the things He has been showing me and really begin to ACT them out! God is so good! And I’m so excited to see what He has in store for us all this coming year! And as we like to say in Padre…ALRIGHT!! -Hannah Schorr
This week has been amazing! I feel like I have been gone for a month but it has only been for a week. God has helped me in so many miraculous ways this week, which I must say is when I got to talk to Kenn Kington who was our night speaker. Also, getting to hang out with everyone like Hannah, Todd, Laura, Emily, Gerry, Ashley, Jill, Braden, Samantha,and Russell. I am the only senior on this trip which I guess is a good thing. I am ready for him to show me ways this next year how I can collide with him. ALRIGHT!! AMEN SISTA!! -Nat Nobles
Reflections on the “Padre” (No pun intended…)
Thinking back to last Saturday night, the eve of the trip to South Padre Island, I admit that I was nervous for several reasons. Todd and I were transitioning straight from the New Orleans mission trip, and I can admit that I was exhausted, physically and mentally. Weariness aside, I had met only a few of the students on the trip and was apprehensive about being in such close proximity and spiritual intimacy with people that I didn’t know. Lastly, now that I have officially made the transition from student to adult sponsor (“dark-siding” as Jill termed it), I was worried about developing substantial relationships with the students, setting the proverbial example, and all that comes with the territory of being a counselor. Needless to say, all of these fears were alleviated almost immediately. The opportunity to worship in song surrounded by the whole group, learn side by side with the students and counselors alike, and having deep, intimate discussions in our small group time was a transforming one to say the least. I think that I speak for the whole group when I say that we all learned valuable lessons this week, but more importantly we encountered the Lord in a very real and powerful way through our interactions with each other. I count all this week among one of my biggest blessings, in particular the relationships that were formed along the way. I take away from this week new questions, answers to old ones, and many new friends, but most importantly: a deeper and more substantial relationship with the King. So, thanks for all the prayers and support this week; it made a world of difference. Hope to see you all soon! -Russell “Danger” Brown
I have really enjoyed the past week, learning and getting closer to God. I would want any high school student who would not only want to have a great time but also become closer to God. –Braden Miller
This week has really been an eye opening (which according to Todd and Russell I got the eye opening thing down when I’m asleep) experience. Watching and listening to all the amazing speeches gave me a new perspective on certain things in life. Not only did it bring me closer to God but I became closer to my church family. (FT in the C) I would recommend this to everyone because from the atmosphere, the bands, and the worship it really can be life changing. -Ashley Davis
I didn’t want to sound redundant but this week has truly been amazing. We have had so much fun spending time with each other and growing closer to God. Both band were great and it was so much fun praising God with them. Jim from the Maze was so awesome. We were all trying to figure out how he did his tricks. And Kenn was such an amazing speaker. Family time was probably one of the best times because we just got to spend time singing and talking with each other (even the one night when we were all eaten by mosquitoes). The beach was so much fun with the games, finding hermit crabs, playing volleyball and dodge ball (which even though we didn’t win our game, our outfits were the best), and just talking with each other. And then we all had fun with bungee jumping or the reverse bungee even though most of us were terrified to do it. I have just had a terrific time with everyone on the trip. God had an amazing time in store for us this week and we all enjoyed it. And all God’s people said…. ALLRIGHT!! -Samantha Hoover
I had an awesome time this week in Padre! I really feel like God called me on this trip so that I would grow closer to Him. This trip really opened my eyes to God’s amazing love for all of us and helped me grow stronger in my faith. I really liked the music this week, both bands were really good and I loved worshiping together with our group. I loved all the people that went on this trip and feel closer to all of them. Oh and the beach was great too. We didn’t win any games during our rec time in the afternoons, but that’s okay because we had a blast trying. I feel like I will go home changed from this trip. =) -Laura Price
WOW – what an incredible time we had in South Padre at Fun in the Son. This week’s theme was “When Ordinary & Extraordinary Collide” and we focused on the Book of John and how Jesus wants us to have a collision between His truth & the reality of the real world. I had many collisions during the beautiful week on the beach and with the help of the bands, speakers, Natalie, Hannah, Emily, Braden, Ashley, Samantha, Laura, Gerry, Russell, Sarah & Todd I better understand how He wants me to use His Word and follow His example of how to have collisions for His good. I am not going to lie and say it was convenient to stay on the beach and have free time every afternoon – I LOVED that part. (Ashley has a future as a crab hermit hunter/gatherer if college doesn’t work out.) The most amazing part of the trip was my new FAMILY – what a blessing to spend a week with some of the strongest Christians of FPC Midland! I never get over how deep the faith of teenagers is and so many members of 1st Presbyterian Church have been important in their walk (teaching Sunday School, VBS, children’s choir, chaperone, small group leader, or just a friendly face on Sunday morning) – please be proud of OUR kids. This had to be my favorite trip ever – thanks for the prayers. -Jill Spannaus
This past week at Padre was an amazing experience. The speakers at the camp were so thought provoking, and the worship bands were awesome. We still can’t figure out how the “psychological illusionist” did the crazy stuff he did, and I may never think about homelessness the same after hearing an author discuss his 5 months of living on the streets. Getting to play on the beach may be the draw for this week, but it becomes an afterthought once you encounter the community and spirit that is so overwhelming there. I truly feel blessed to have had the opportunity to hang out and worship with such a great group from FPC Midland. This was my first time to attend any kind of church camp, and it was so much more than I had imagined. I’m looking forward to hopefully returning to Padre for more Fun in the Son in later years. -Gerry Weisenfels