Here’s the long story made short: we were all planning on going to the annual youth convention in Pierre this weekend with about a thousand other students from all over the region. That didn’t happen because of a snow storm that swept through South Dakota leaving I-90 closed down for a good portion of Thursday and Friday. On Friday evening we made the hard decision of canceling the trip and planning an alternative weekend with a few of the churches here on the West side (1st Assembly and Bethel Assembly of God). As sort of a bad joke, we decided to call the event “Snow-Inn 2008” (we booked the Quality Inn hotel for the overnighter).
Now this was no small feat! I feel like we’ve been “on” since Thursday evening – watching the weather, pushing back the trip departure, sending out all the trip updates (no small task to get everyone informed), eventually canceling the trip, and then deciding to plan and execute an alternative event. The student pastors gathered at 10:00 AM on Saturday morning to plan the next 24 hours. Talk about God’s hand on this thing! For the amount of time we had to plan, it was amazing to me how great everything played out. What an amazing, impacting weekend! Here’s our video highlights that we debuted at the service last night…
VIDEO NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Last night our students shared about their weekend and what God did in their lives. I sat there with tears in my eyes through the whole thing. I was so overwhelmed (and probably just plain physically fatigued, too :-)) by how FAITHFUL God was to touch students live exactly where they needed it. Several of our students were praying and fasting leading up to this event and God answered their prayers. Several of them stated that they were glad that we DIDN’T make it to Pierre for the simple reason that what happened this weekend wouldn’t have been able to happen if we had. Wow!
Now, I’m all about the cool effects, great worship band, the big dodgeball tournament at the aquatic center, and the wow/pizazz of youth convention in Pierre. The AG youth district puts on a very excellent event in Pierre and that’s why we’ve made it a priority to be a part of it for several years now. It’s impacted our students in HUGE ways. I was a little bit concerned that this weekend was going to “fall short” of all of that expectation… but again… can I say it again? God is so faithful! I didn’t hear one student mention/complain that we didn’t get to go to Pierre this weekend. That’s HUGE!
We went out and served our community through a two-hour “Impact Rapid City” event where we simply went around and shoveled in our comminty (sidewalks, driveways, and in one case shoveling out a truck). We worshiped God through music and word in two services, we had some pool/hang-time at the hotel, some crazy late-night activities, and met with God. Pretty simple but so powerful! So thankful for our amazing students, leaders, and volunteers who helped make it what it was!