We had our turn to host the area-wide monthly youth activity last night. As I explained earlier, we planned to have a Game Mania, with several different games going at once, then changing every few minutes so that each person played all the games in the course of the evening. It went great!
We had a good turnout of adults - I believe it was 7 - from our church to help with setup, food prep, and game tables. Wes put the men and all the pastors and youth pastors to work setting up and explaining games to the kids.
When it was time to start, each teen was given a number, 1-4, dividing the group into teams. At each table, there were two games set up, one on each end of the table, with 4 chairs set up at each game. We had Uno, Scrabble, Boggle, Phase 10, Skip-Bo, Yahtzee, Sorry, and Pit, most of which many of the kids had never played! That just added to the fun.
At first, the kids were confused and very serious. I guess they thought they had to learn each game and play it seriously, but after a couple of rounds they realized they were having fun! LOL That's when we started seeing people laugh and relax, and then Wes heard what he'd been aiming for - cries of "Awwwwww" when he blew the whistle to change games! Then we knew the kids were getting into the games!
As the game hour was closing, the ladies and I began to set out the food. We were making nachos, so we set out plates of chips for the kids to come by and pick up, then they went on to the table with all the condiments - cheese sauce, taco-seasoned meat, olives, onions, tomatoes, and sour cream - to make Nachos Supreme. Beth made Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies. Everybody dug right in (we heard many good comments on the food!) and left nothing but half a crock pot of cheese sauce! LOL
While we love to have fun, that's not the only focus of our youth activities. We always have a devotional time after the fun and food. Wes preached last night, and it was so good! He talked about how we always see Peter's failure when he walked on the water, and forget to notice that . . . ummmm . . . he actually walked on water! He had faith, albeit little faith, but we often forget to mention that part - we just criticize him for taking his eyes off Jesus. Well, Wes reminded the teens that we adults often overlook the good things they do and only see their failures. He encouraged them to grow their faith - even if it's little right now. I was encouraged by it, because you know what? My faith still has plenty of room to grow! I hope the teens listened and were encouraged too.
I've included a few pictures here, but I have many more in my Facebook album. Feel free to go take a look. It's mostly for the kids to look at, but anyone can see my album.