This past weekend was Venture Weekend!! It is our Youth Ministry's Disciple Now weekend and it is a weekend that I look forward to every year! We always co-host with The Ballards and this year was the year we have Melody's 9th grade small group. We rotate hosting our small groups each year. Next year, my group will be seniors - I can't even believe I typed it - so next year will definitely be bittersweet but back to this year!
Melody and I met our leaders - the two girls that would lead the small group all weekend - Annie and Lauren and we took them to dinner at Chiloso. They are both so sweet and we knew it would be a great weekend with them as soon as we met them. After dinner, we headed back to Melody's house to wait for all the girls to show up!
The host homes had signs to put in their yard so the parents could find it when it was time to drop their kids off and Justin put theirs in their dirt pile (from their backyard for their new pool!) in their driveway :)
Lauren, Katie, Jalie and Annie - the calm before the storm!
The girls showed up and one of the best things about Venture is all the snack food :) One girl brought this big bag of popcorn and we were all excited - or maybe just me!
Once all the girls came, we headed to the church for the first session!
We love getting to go in and worship and I love this picture of everyone worshiping together!
After the first session, the girls headed back to the house and had a great talk-back session. The next morning, I headed back over to pick the girls up to head to the church for breakfast. But first, we might have had some popcorn for breakfast :)
Second breakfast - Chiloso breakfast tacos
While session #2 was going on, they started blowing up all the fun bounce houses and games for the youth . These three watched intently as they all went up!
After the second session, they headed to the chapel for a special presentation. Our group and Jalie who loved being with them all weekend!
The presentation had to do with how the obedience of these dogs they had on stage and how it parallels to our obedience and our Master's love for us.
While we waited for the presentation to be over, the kids how to test out the inflatables. These three were together all weekend and had a great time!
After the presentation, it was lunch time and then all the youth had a couple of hours to just play on all of the inflatables. Mallory had a birthday party to go to so we all hung out at the youth building until it was time for us to leave. Since we had so much time, Shanna taught us a new card game - 768 - and we were all addicted all weekend. We really had the best time playing and I loved learning a new game!
When it was time to leave, we got to be apart of a special thing for an 11 year old girl named Alex Kirk, who goes to Rockwall, and was just diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. You can visit her Caring Bridge here. We all tied notes to some balloons so that after we let them go, wherever it lands, it asks the person who finds it to pray for Alex and to email the email on the note to let them know they were praying so you could see how many people across the state were praying. We went to Alex's house (she can't get out or go to school the rest of the year due to the risk of infection while she is going through chemo) and she came to the door so she could see all the balloons and we all prayed for her.
and then we let the balloons go.
It was a great moment and she had the biggest smile the whole time. We went back to our friend's house to put some ribbons together so we could pass them out in Alex's neighborhood and ask them to put the ribbon on a tree or somewhere on their house so Alex would know they were praying for her
I'm so thankful we were able to be apart of it. Such a special time!
We went back to Melody's to get ready for the session Saturday night. Most of the groups like to dress up for the Saturday night session and our girls decided to go as M&Ms and our leaders dressed up as Eminem M&M's. :)
My 11th grade small group went as Snow White and the Seven (eight) Dwarfs
Had to sneak a pic with Claire
Love this shot of all the youth worshipping
There are videos made for each session that are always fun to watch. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here. Enjoy!!
Saturday night, we took the girls to Bahama Bucks. These two were troopers all weekend and loved being with all the girls
Sunday morning, we headed to church and just like that Venture was over
But not without taking all the pictures
So thankful to get to serve along one of my best friends
And loved getting to serve with my family!
And because she;s my favorite :)
I know many lives were changed this weekend and getting to see these youth grow in their faith is the most important thing. Such an awesome weekend! And then I napped for 2 hours :)