Youth Ministry

National Youth Gathering Blog: Day 0-1

Hey All!

What a trip so far! We started off the trip with a majority of us sleeping. As the morning went on we all started waking up and started some friendship bracelets and card games. Everyone was still a bit quiet but by the time we got to lunch we had played get to know you games and mixing up where we were sitting to meet new people. We stopped at a rest stop in the middle of flat Illinois,  picked up our favorite church bus driver Paul, and celebrated 2 birthdays with bagels! Once lunch hit we were all awake with lots more energy then when we left. We had quite the experience at lunch, when we arrived we got the first wave of humidity, by the time lunch ended some of us got caught in the Missouri down poor! It’s crazy how quick weather can change! As we headed towards Little Rock, Arkansas everyone started to bond and open up. Heading to Little Rock we started with some technology free reflection that really made us start to think about questions we want/need the answer to on this trip, this refection felt a little emotional for me through answering many different questions. We wrote notes to our future self that we will read in 7 days, whether we change or not. We might find an answer to a question we don’t even know we had, or we might get an answer to a question that is just the start of a huge journey. I’m gong to ask you, what question do you want an answer to? As we arrived in Little Rock we ate a delicious pizza dinner and got another fantastic taste of hot weather with humidity. At this dinner we got to meet with our small group with everyone there for the first time! After a very filling dinner we made our way to the Red Roof Hotel and I bet you can guess where everyone ended up, the pool! While enjoying a beautiful sunset some swam, while others played card games. After awhile we all ended in devotion groups, different than our small groups. Personally this was my favorite part after the long day we had, finally sitting down with a group of girls who I could sit back with and laugh as Diane told us to tell everyone we talked about Dinosaurs! Just kidding!

As we started Wednesday (Today), Wisconsin Day, at least in my room 5:45am, we got and up got some food, got on the bus and started to finish the trek to Houston. While some slept others continued card games and friendship bracelets. Once everyone woke up, we played some get to know the chaperone games, it’s quite interesting the facts you learn, as we found out that one of them ALMOST got arrested on a youth gathering for just trying to give out free hugs! At this point everyone was really lightening up and getting to know each other the bus filled with chatter, laughs and music. We stopped and filled up our tummies and continued our final leg to Houston! The final leg of the journey was my favorite part. Sarah made us sit quietly with no technology and just breathe and calm ourselves for the journey ahead. We arrived in Houston and finally got what everyone was waiting for, finally getting off the bus (and the lovely heat we were all waiting for, NOT)! We got a lovely surprise and got upgraded rooms! After dinner we traveled to the NRG Stadium where the Texans play. As we walked to get in line to enter we started to trade these pins that Sarah gave us, meeting new people is such an amazing experience! We even got to see Pastor Rod!! As we entered to stadium, it was definitely breath taking, seeing half of this stadium filled top to bottom, it’s such an amazing site. In the stadium we danced, prayed, listened to speakers and had fun! Personally I got a little overwhelmed in the stadium with that many people in that close of space, on top of it was just super hot! But it was also so amazing. We got back to the hotel and we went back to our devotion groups for time to reflect and talk about our experience for the first day. After that it was time to get some rest for the big days ahead of us!

-McKenzie Johns

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