This is the second in a series of three guest posts by Haley, a sixth grade student that went on the Middle School retreat in March. I asked her to share her experience at the retreat. You can read part 1 here.
DAY 2: Oh Boy! Day two, well, let’s just say it was very entertaining!!!
All right, so we got up ate breakfast, (which by the way was super good) and then we went to Bible Study. At Bible Study we looked at Jeremiah 29:11, which says:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God definitely knows the plans He has for you, and in NO WAY are they to harm you. God wants you to prosper—He will give you a future and a hope! Now are you thinking that my life is so unfair? Don’t get me wrong, life can be very challenging at times: a loved one dies, somebody you care about is sick, or you didn’t get your dream job. But you have to remember that God is always there; He’s right beside you, assisting you through that tough time. Or the exact opposite can happen: you get an award from work or you get promoted to a job. God’s there when that happens also. He is rejoicing with you. Whether it’s something good or bad that happens you should pray to God. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.” Whether it’s a downfall or a rejoice God is there, ALWAYS!
Later that day we got to meet with the founder of the Liberia Foundation Community School. Unexpectedly, it was one of my favorite parts of the retreat! The founder, (a man that was born in Liberia) came to tell us about the education that the children received there. He told us the life story of the children living in Liberia. He stated that in the beginning “there was one, small, over-crowded, gray, schoolhouse; and that one, small, little, gray schoolhouse grew into twelve larger schoolhouse’s.” He was telling us how they are still working on the project, but the children love it! One of their primary goals is to have floors installed at all of the schools.
If you would like to help these children you can donate at their website. You can pay for a child to go to school for the year for only $7 per month! Also, you can donate money to the organization to help the children receive supplies, install floors into all of the schools, and teachers would get paid $40 per month like they are supposed to. But the most important reason, the Liberian children would get to know Jesus and become closer to him.
Before the founder of the schools left he gave each of us a gift, a golden cross made out of bullets. It is beautiful. The unique thing is that there is a story behind each and every one of these crosses. If you didn’t know, there was a war going on in Liberia for the past 14 years. There were bullets scattered all over the ground. The people that lived there didn’t know what to do with them, but the children did. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.” The children picked up some of the bullets, and welded a cross out of it. Amazing, right? And that one nasty bullet from war, can make something as beautiful as the cross.
The school in Liberia started in 2005 with 30 children, and now they have about 150 boys and girls in the age between 3-15! “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is a huge accomplishment!!! God is always there guiding you, 24/7.
Next, we had free time! Even the word sounds like its calling for trouble. (And by the way, it did). While the three girls walked around the hotel and talked to the hotel administrator, the boys were playing football near a lake (A.K.A. a DRAINAGE DITCH!) outside.
One of the boys accidentally threw the football into the lake, so another one of the boys thought it would be a great idea to jump over the short fence and wade into the lake. The lake is a goose-poop, algae-filled lake, where geese do swim! He claimed that he slipped and that’s why he went that deep, but blah, blah, blah we didn’t buy it. We were all thankful he was ok in the end.