Brazil, Day 30: Adolescent Retreat3 min read

So today’s the big day. We had scheduled the adolescent camp-out for two weeks earlier, but because of some circumstances we had to reschedule it for this weekend. But now all the plans were in place and it was go time!

After a breakfast of French toast, papaya, and hot milk, we spent the morning cleaning the house, clearing the porches, and getting everything else ready. For lunch we had rice, beans, fried fish, and bananas for dessert, and the next couple hours I was able to relax a little, do my devotions in Acts 16, and finish preparing the devotional I was going to give around the campfire in the evening.

At 3:00 Uncle Jim went to pick up the boys and bring them back. When they got here, Aunt Julie went to get the girls, and we hung up our hammocks on the property in the back. We found one good tree that was large enough to hold all of us. We had originally planned to sleep in hammocks on the porch, but the boys said that it wouldn’t be real camping if we did that.

Property TourWhen the girls arrived and settled in, Uncle Jim gave everyone a tour of the property and pointed out all the significant landmarks. Then the kids had a treasure hunt, and several of us stood at those aforementioned landmarks on the land.

It was a scavenger hunt in which the kids had to come to each of us helpers in order and receive different letters of the alphabet. At the end they had to put the letters into a phrase that they were given, completing the phrase, “Viver para Deus!” (Live for God) Upon completing the activity, they were each given a devotional book with handwritten notes, encouraging them to live for God.

Next we ate supper- homemade personal pizzas! We all went through the line and chose our toppings while the girls made the pizzas and then baked them for us. While the pizzas were in the oven we played a round of Kingdom, my first ever time doing it in Portuguese. It was really fun because Danae won the round.

Something that was interesting to me was how the Brazilians put ketchup on their pizza! Danae and I thought, “What?! Don’t they already have tomato sauce on their pizzas?” So that was a new cultural experience for me. I had guarana for the first time, a Brazilian soda that I have heard other people taut.

Around the CampfireAfter supper Uncle Jim started a campfire on the property, and a short time later we were all out there, singing songs. I gave a devotional about seeking God and following after him. My two primary texts were Matthew 6:33 and Proverbs 3:5-6.

These kids are at a crucial moment in their lives, and most of them come from rough family backgrounds. Many indications show that they are headed the way of the world, so we wanted to do something to challenge them not to go that direction. I really hope God’s Word had an impact on their lives.

Snowman CookieNext stop was a cookie-decorating contest. Everyone was given about four sugar cookies to decorate with frosting, and then some neighbors came over and judged the cookies, choosing the best ones for several different categories. I only did three cookies- a large circle, a medium circle, and a small circle- and I decorated them like a snowman. 🙂

We played a few more games outside (like another round of Kingdom that Uncle Jim won), and at about 10:00 I went with the guys to our hammocks for the night. It was nice and cool like I like it, but the mosquitoes were biting, so I had to cover up completely to try to shield myself from them. Man, I love sleeping in a hammock though.

The other guys talked a lot and tried out some simple English on me, but finally they quieted down and I drifted off…

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