MUD and ICE
We recently hosted the annual M.U.D. Retreat for high school youth groups in the North Pacific Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Though the snow was falling, the retreat was “ABLAZE” (which was also our theme this year) with fun activities, good food, close friends, and the impacting presence of Jesus.During the daily sessions a talented group of musicians from North Park University led the students in worship through music and Kris Causton of Excelsior Covenant in Minnesota shared about God’s fire within their hearts. Throughout the day youth groups participated in fun camp activities – they even got a chance to play ultimate cow tongue (ultimate Frisbee with a cow tongue). A highlight of the weekend for many was ‘Sacred Spaces’ – an experiential worship time held on Sunday night. Stations were set up all around the Rainier Center, encouraging students to think, pray, and reflect on God and His relationship with them. Many students expressed how much they enjoyed this time to grow in their relationship with our Lord and Savior.
Despite the snow, all of the youth groups were able to safely return to their homes just in time, as the snow continued to fall. We ended up with a total of 10 inches on Wednesday. That night we had freezing rain and woke up Thursday morning to no power and many down trees. It is amazing how heavy ice can be and its ability to tear trees in half!! We spent part of the day Thursday and most of the day Friday cleaning up the major roads around camp. Our forests have definitely been thinned out a bit and there is still a lot of cleanup to do. Never the less God was good and none of our buildings were damaged. The power outage brought about a cool opportunity to share in community as a staff. We gathered around the generators spending meals together, playing games, and keeping warm. It was an awesome time bonding around fires and candle light, but we were all glad to have the power returned after four days on Sunday afternoon.
All in all, it is safe to say that things have been pretty exciting around Cascades!
- Darek “Delta” Hollis
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