Our snowy weekend winter retreat at Grace Community Baptist Church in Richmond, VA was not anything like it was planned to be, but it turned out to be a great weekend of spiritual renewal and commitment with around 70 students involved. Due to the weather, Grace made the last-minute decision to host the weekend on their church campus rather than chartering a bus down to Camp Willow Run on Lake Gaston in NC. Tasha and I and the band that we had lined up were also on pins and needles just hours leading up to the event, trying to decide what to do.
In less than a 24-hour period of time, I had 3 different bands lined up to go with us, but each one canceled right after the next with concern for the weather. The last band I had lined up was actually from Richmond--contacts I got through a mutual friend. But with just minutes to go before the first session Friday night, they were forced to back out being stuck in traffic and weather in Richmond.
Obviously, as I've already indicated, Tasha and I and the kids decided that we would go ahead and make the trip in our 4-wheel-drive Isuzu Trooper, though Richmond was projected to get a foot of snow (and a foot of snow is exactly what came). We planned for the worst and headed out on our adventure.
The weekend actually turned out exceptionally well. The parents and volunteers at Grace are a rare breed, for sure. They sacrifice, plan and prepare unlike anywhere else we've ever been. And through the leadership of my buddy, Ed Martin, their fearless student pastor, they managed to pull off one of the most organized audibles that we've ever been a part of.
My good friend, Wes McMurray, came and brought the Word in a powerful way, as he always does. Tasha and I love getting the opportunity to partner with long-time friends like Wes and Ed. It's always a blast and never a dull moment. Many of the students were challenged and encouraged in their faith through the weekend as each session sought to answer six "What if" questions:
1. What if we were all here for a reason?
2. What if we finally understood the Gospel?
3. What if we lived like we were possessed?
4. What if we made decisions based on eternity?
5. What if we considered others better than ourselves?
6. What if we were desperate for the Word?
Needless to say, we made it back home safely Sunday evening before the ice had time to re-freeze. And now it's Monday afternoon, and it feels good to do nothing but study the Word, veg, and hang with my awesome family.
Thanks Grace for taking great care of us. We had a blast. Love your students!!