Today was the last morning of NYC and we could sense a general sadness with the youth as they had to leave this safe and fun place and need to go back to their homes and communities. One of the girls stayed up because she didn’t want to go home and she ended up reading her Bible at night. One of the boys was visibly upset the next morning as well.
There was one last morning session where the Pastor challenged the youth about the choices that they will make back home. He challenged them to be agents of change again when they return their communities. It was a really good message but most of the youth had already left as they had long bus rides back. Initially I thought if only there were more people there to hear the message but then I was reminded of God’s sovereignty and I trust that the ones who were there are all of the ones that were supposed to be there.
We said our final goodbyes to some of our new friends. Though we only spent a few days with them, we truly felt like a family. For those few days, we were not just helping out at a conference but we were brother and sisters in arms, fighting together in this Spiritual battle. It is always encouraging to know that we are the body of Christ together.
We headed out to have a BBQ with the kids at one of the organizers’ house. We had one of the youth in the car. We were asking him what his beliefs were and there is a real tension between the Christian beliefs he has and also his desire to learn more about his Native traditions and cultures. He said that he feels like a hypocrite.
After the BBQ, we drove in to Saddle Lake. On the way there, we saw a beautiful sunset and just had to stop on the side to take a few photos. Even though we got some (a bunch) of bites, it was totally worth it! Night time driving was pretty dangerous, as the reserve is dark and unlit. The roads are unpaved, so they are very dusty and bumpy. We are thankful that we arrived safely.
Please pray for the youth who attended NYC returning back to their reserves. They are struggling to find their identities and are feeling a tension between losing their traditions and believing in the truth of the Gospel.