THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING…. this was the theme of the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering that 33 of Calvary’s young people attended this past month. In our preparations for our summer trip, one of the kids asked what “this” was. The Gathering defined “this” each day:
- CALL Changes Everything
- LOVE Changes Everything
- GRACE Changes Everything
- HOPE Changes Everything
- JESUS Changes Everything
Calvary’s teenagers experienced these thing, and can add a couple of thoughts to what “this” is.
First, they can add that:
- SERVING Changes Everything. This is something that they don’t just say, but something they live out. They chose to leave early for the Youth Gathering and do Hurricane Rebuilding on the way.
- Calvary’s youth could also add that RELATIONSHIPS Change Everything as they experienced new friendships and strengthened existing friendships.
Here is where some of our young people saw Jesus on the Mission Trip and Youth Gathering:
- The Youth Gathering is an experience I will never forget.
- I saw God in too many places to count.
- I saw God in the lights that blinded me in the arena and in the sounds of clapping and laughter as we all let go and danced.
- I saw God in the eyes filled with tears and mouths in upturned smiles.
- I saw God in new friendships and in soft voices that help my hand when everything was a bit too much. In all honesty, I truly saw God everywhere.
- On this mission trip I saw God in smiles. Oh so many smiles!
- I saw God in the stadium worship. There were so many people there singing and clapping it made the stadium shake and vibrate.
- I saw Jesus through Sammy and our group singing “This changes everything”
- I saw God on Synod Day (at the Gathering). I was one of the people giving out blessings and it was beautiful to see so many people from our area who believe the same thing I do.
- I saw God every night in Mission Trip worship at the school cafeteria with 80 beds in the same room
- I saw God each night at NRG Stadium, especially when we sang Amazing Grace with our arms wrapped around each other and swaying. It was cool to look around and see others doing the same.
- I saw Jesus in our group, who was one of the loudest and proudest in the stadium!
- I saw Jesus in the graciousness of the people of Refugio who thanked us so much for being there to help them.
- I saw God in the stories the people of Refugio told.
Daily journal entries and photos are on the Calvary Lutheran Youth (Fort Worth, TX)