Awaken ’09

As some of you know, I am doing an internship with my church’s youth group this year.  This weekend is their first retreat of the year, and it’s called Awaken ’09.   I’ll be leading a JH guys’ small group.  This entire event has been a crazy logistical undertaking.  We weren’t able to rent out the retreat center like usual this year, so what we are doing instead is that each small group is going to sleep over at a host family’s house and do small groups there, and come back to the church for the main sessions.  So many people had to be intimately involved with this event and we are so grateful for them!  Here is a paragraph from the retreat brochure to explain what the sessions will be about:

The purpose behind this event is [that we might] accept Paul’s challenge in Ephesians 5 to wake up spiritually as believers by imitating God and walking in love as Christ loved us. By doing this we walk in the Light and love of God in righteousness and not in the darkness of sin.  As a result of walking in the Light we will encourage each other in the Light and shine for Christ in our city; including family, friends, and those who surround us: both known and unknown. We and those in our sphere of influence need to awaken spiritually. This is why we will spend time hearing God’s word preached, worshiping Him in song and prayer, bonding with our small groups, mentors, and leaders in fellowship, meeting and interacting with parents, going out into our city to pray over those who need Christ, and enjoying one another’s company in sports, games, and other fun activities! So let us wake up and stay awake for the sake of the gospel!

I’ve never been a small group leader at a retreat, much less the main leader.  I know God is going to do amazing things, and I’m super thrilled!  At the same time, I’ve felt myself doubting from time to time.  Pray that I would rest on the grace of God that is more than enough for me.  Pray that hearts would be changed to treasure Christ by the gospel.  That is what I most want to happen, and that is what I am most incapable of doing.  If the Holy Spirit does not come in power, nothing of lasting significance is going to happen this weekend.  Here are some other prayer requests:

> Pray that God would give us a global vision that longs to see the gospel spread and be treasured throughout all the earth!

> Pray that all of the crazy logistical details of this event would work out smoothly; pray that everyone will be where they need to be for pick up and drop off times at the correct times, and that even the times spent in the vehicles would be used for the glory of God!

> Pray that lasting relationships would be established and continue, so that we would build an even bigger and stronger community of people who love the gospel together and who encourage each other in the truth of the Word!

> Pray for safety throughout this whole weekend, as we play broomball, chill at the host homes, drive to and from church, etc.!

Thank you so much for your prayers.  We need them!  I thank God because I already know that He is going to do awesome things this weekend (this is my prayer for this weekend)!

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About Joe Eaton

I praise God that my standing before Him has nothing to do with who I am or what I've done; it is found solely in the perfect life that Christ lived in my place, and His which atoned for my sin. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God"..."There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

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