Friday, November 14, 2014

FUEL Impact, M&Ms and clapping

As he put a blue M&M in his mouth, Darin* stated to me Sunday morning, "When I go home, I need to connect with my JV Basketball coach.  He always listens to me and teaches me leadership."  The FUEL conference was wrapping up and on Sunday morning the Student Leaders were doing an activity that involved answering questions based on their experience and the color of the M&M's they received.

After arriving home, one leader from a church sent this back to us,
"The breakout sessions (workshops) this year were great, best breakouts of any year we have attended. The speaker (Mike) was engaging and brought good challenge and support not only to the students but also to the leaders. Very funny and we enjoyed the direct approach of impacting the student ministry now. Over all we had a great time and I am sure if Grace Adventures hosts another FUEL conference next year, you will see [our] church again and again! It is a great time for us to pull our upperclassmen away and pour into them. Thanks again for providing this opportunity!"  

One of the band members pulled me aside on Sunday, and wanted to let me know how impressed they were with the volunteers from Grace Adventures.  Their service and attitude had made a huge impact on her.  She was blessed knowing that our volunteers had worked all week and then showed up to serve the groups all weekend pouring into the lives of students, leaders and even the band!

I have had the privilege of being a part of the team that planned, promoted and implemented the FUEL conference the last 3 years.  Each year has been unique, but it has been powerful to see God's hand at work.  One memory from this year that will stay with me happened on Saturday night.  Mike Fritz had wrapped up his message on Christ showing us love first, and how he went to the cross for us.  As the band came up and lead the final song.  In the lyrics of the song, it spoke not just about the death of Jesus, but also about him rising from the grave.  At that point, students on their own initiative literally screamed and clapped, celebrating what God had done through Jesus!

It was a great weekend and we are looking forward to another one in 2015!

-Ben VanderKodde