Our family went on a church-wide retreat this weekend up to the mountains, though we made a little detour up to West Virginia first.  There was a certain little camper who needed to be dropped off at Pops and Nana’s house.  They took care of Mini for the weekend, which made it a completely relaxing church retreat for her mommy.  It wasn’t such a bad situation for her, either.

So Mike and I were able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Max this weekend.

The time away was really fun and the weekend also doubled as the annual missions conference.  We love our church family and we are very blessed to not only be on staff (can you believe it’s been nearly 2 years since Mike became a youth pastor?) but we’ve developed close relationships with so many people from the time Mike and I were dating, 15 years ago.  In that time we have seen a number of friends answer God’s call to go into missions.  Even some of my old junior high girls!  It’s really cool to be the “sending” church.  It’s also a blessing to be the home church for missionaries when they are visiting the States and get to come on retreats with us.

Pictured with us are our friends who serve full-time with Young Life in the Czech Republic.  We have such a heart for Young Life (I used to be a volunteer leader back in the day) because it’s all about developing relationships with kids and sharing about Christ, no matter what their religious background is.  Mike has developed a strong bond with Martin and Jane (and Sophia and Mia) in the past couple of years as he’s traveled to CZ three times alone or with groups of teens.  I hope that someday I can join him for one of these trips…to serve at the camp, yes, but also to hang out with Jane.  She is one of the coolest women I’ve ever met.

I titled this post Friendship for another reason.  I asked Max to be listening for something to learn this weekend.  He initiated the conversation on Sunday and told me that he learned that “friendship was the best thing in the world.”

He had the best time with his buddies.  There were several times when I saw him hanging out with friends, fishing, playing, or talking about whatever, and I smiled.  It’s so good to see him build friendships on his own, without me hovering over like I did when he was younger.  I mean, in a way it’s hard too.  It’s a step toward independence for both of us.  I pray a lot for him to have good, lasting friendships.

The coolest thing was that after we had this conversation, his devotion this morning was about David and Jonathan.

I love it when God does that.


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