Teens Discover Jesus Lakeside

March 16, 2015 | Jay Wintermeyer

What do you get when you combine a pickup load of lumber scraps with lots of energetic Pathfinder teenagers and fire? Attendees to the Upper Columbia Conference teen Pathfinder retreat, held in February, discovered you get a powerful illustration about how sin (our burdens) weigh us down and get in the way of fully living for Jesus.

The simple yet effective object lesson burdened each Pathfinder with an armload of lumber scraps. Once the young people were fully weighted down, they visited five different activity stations in the woods around the new Moose cabin at Camp MiVoden. At each station, the young people were given a simple everyday task to accomplish, while carrying all the wood. It may sound simple, but try washing and drying your hands while carrying a stack of oddly shaped wood. 

After each activity, Pathfinders were given the opportunity to reflect and talk about the difficulty of the task as well as visually see how Jesus will remove our sin and burdens if we let Him. At the end of each discussion, the teens were given the opportunity write a personal burden on a piece of their wooden load and toss it into a small bonfire, symbolically giving that struggle to Christ.

At the conclusion of the activity, all the burdens (pieces of wood) had been surrendered to Jesus and consumed in the fire. The final task the Pathfinders needed to complete was incredibly simple because they were no longer carrying anything to get in their way.  

Lessons like this and many others were absorbed by the teens throughout the retreat weekend. Play and interaction time was balanced by spiritual lessons and insights with Andrew Abbott, Spokane Valley (Wash.) Church associate pastor.

This year more than 180 teens and adults gathered lakeside for this amazing time of spiritual encouragement and discipleship of our youth.

“It’s more than just giving our young people a fun weekend at Camp MiVoden,” says Wayne Hicks, Upper Columbia Conference Pathfinder director. “It’s about growing these kids into leaders for the kingdom.”