Not Cast Away

Thank you all for your prayers for our annual Homeschool Teen Fellowship Retreat February 22 – 25. Your prayers were felt as we enjoyed this special time with an amazing group of twenty-one young people. Our theme was “Not Cast Away” with our Bible lessons focused on the life of Joseph from Genesis. We had a great group of adult helpers this year that really helped take the load of responsibility and were great examples for these young people.

First, we made a change in our transportation when some parents stepped up and volunteered to help. Instead of the expense of renting a bus for the trip, we were able to use three vehicles to fit all 28 students and adults for the trip down and back up.

About half-way on our six hour trip to the beach

We arrived and were blessed to have the group able to split up guys and girls in two buildings. The guys were able to use the new facility, which also held our meeting room on the bottom floor. A large dining room is on the basement floor of the white building where the girls stayed on the second floor.

Roger’s beach facilities at Same, Esmeraldas

Our group was met by the ultimate “Cast Aways,” Ron and Sarah, to start off our weekend with some rules and a taste of what to look forward to.

A worldwide known celebrity made his appearance and quickly became a mascot. Sometimes folks on the beach would ask to have their picture taken with him.

We had three main teaching sessions with Ron, Omar Garrido and Rusty Campbell teaching on the life of Joseph.

Teaching session one with Omar

The kids were split into four teams for competitions during the weekend.

Teams meeting with their adult leaders

Each morning started off early with a solo quiet time for each student before breakfast. Our daughter Lydia (in Mexico) was able to contribute with the devotionals on this.

Then there was a group in the kitchen of local folks who make wonderful meals for us all.

The teams started off with giving themselves names and making a team flag.

Making the team flags

Competitions included earth, fire and water!

Earth for Team Willson
Earth for the Crabby Crabs
Earth for the Life Storms (with Mateo as the turtle head)
Sarah and Ron couldn’t help themselves, but joined in on the sand sculptures/castles
Earth for the Greenland Sharks
Fire building
Relay between the teams for the fire building materials
Winners of the fire building competition – Crabby Crabs!
Team water competition
Learning how to distill fresh water from sea water so one can survive as a cast away.
Life Storms won the water competition with 15.2 ml of pure water!

Of course, one of the favorite games of this group is Nuke’Em, a variation of volleyball which was excellent played on the beach!

Nuke’Em Competition

Of course, there was plenty of time to play in the beautiful surf on the beach of Same

And there was some free time for table games during the middle of the day when the sun was hottest on the beach

We had a great time over the weekend, with team building and building new friendships. One more opportunity to do this was the team devotional discussion time

Last but not least, was skit night! Each of the teams were to take something from the story of Joseph and add it into an original skit. Everyone did a fantastic job (we have a very “dramatic” group!)

Team Willson’s skit
Team Greenland Shark’s skit
Team Life Storm’s skit
Crabby Crab’s winning skit!

The best way for each team to get points was Bible memorization. That helped the Greenland Sharks to win over-all at the end!

Winners of the Not Cast Away Retreat Competitions – Greenland Sharks!

Once again, thank you so much for your prayers. Everyone stayed safe, healthy and soaked in all the Bible lessons and discussion during our extended weekend.

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