"Lord, we need a fresh anointing
We cannot borrow from yesterday
Come and lead us, Holy Spirit
Teach us of Jesus, His will, His way."
As we prepared to gather for a weekend of seeking God, that song was my heart cry.
We, the Oasis Tabernacle Youth Family, spent our time at this lovely retreat in West Manchester, Ohio. It is a peaceful, well-maintained property, reminiscent of a Shaker-style community. Simple. Orderly. Clean. Pleasing.
Oh, what a beautiful Lord we serve! He answered our prayers for more of Him and came down among us with His sweet, healing Presence. No problem or turmoil is too big for Him!
"From every stormy wind that blows
From every swelling tide of woes
There is a calm, a sure retreat
It's found beneath the mercy seat."
Friday night was a service of singing and testimony. Amazingly, the youth began opening their hearts and being honest about struggles, questions, and fears.
When we humble ourselves and call on God, He will hear and answer. But we must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. These truths God was trying to establish in their hearts this weekend.
What a joy to see young people turning their hearts to the Lord, reaching out for help, healing, and deliverance in Christ Jesus. The messages were about having a daily relationship with Jesus, repentance, and receiving correction as children of God.
Though we were not totally sure what God had in store for us, it became clear that this was a time of laying a foundation for the coming of the Holy Spirit in these young people's lives. As one sister put it, this was the coming of the clouds before the rain!
Two couples from Oasis Tabernacle came along to cook for the group. What a joy it was to have Ervin and Martha Slabaugh and Joe and Sara Hochstetler with us! They did a fantastic job and were a blessing to all. Twila Miller did an awful lot of behind-the-scenes prep both before and during the weekend. She is an amazing organizer, and I pray God blesses her for all the hard work she did!
Stacks and stacks of food...we had plenty of good eats!
Ellis Miller, the man in charge!
Jacki baked cupcakes and added some finishing touches after we arrived.
Dale and I had this room for the weekend with a fun name!
Where is Dale? "He's in the promised land!"
Which room do you have? "We are staying in the promised land!"
When it's late at night and time for bed, "I'm going to the promised land!"
The rustic barn decor and attention to detail, I loved it!
The guys quickly found the game room and made good use of it...
Alex on his rip-stick was the coolest kid! He made it look so easy and graceful. I didn't get it on camera, but he even carried his plate and ate his food while gliding on that thing!
This game is much too serious and intense for me, but obviously, some people like it!
Basketball. It seems to be a game of tag, but they are actually chasing a ball!
Of course, there has to be a bit of volleyball playing somewhere, sometime! That is a game I do love to play!
These youth and their love of gummy fruit snacks, I just don't get it! Bring gummy candy and they are happy!
The first day was grey and rainy...
But it was sunny, warmer, and oh-so-gorgeous by the last day!
Friends must take selfies in the glorious sunshine!
I call this youth group (and all of Oasis Tabernacle) our third family! They are special and unique in that our relationship to each other is through the family heritage of Jesus Christ. It is a beautiful kind of kindred spirit! How beautiful is the Church!