February 15-17, 24 of our teens and adults boarded a bus bound for Gatlinburg, TN to participate in an annual event called Winterfest. This must be about the 15th year that I have had the opportunity to experience this weekend trip with our teens, and yet I can honestly say it never grows old on me. Although each year may be different, every year is special, and every group of students holds a special place in my heart. This year is no exception! I cannot begin to describe to you what an awesome group of teens we had! Although the boys were younger, they stepped up to the plate and helped out in big ways, from carrying luggage, to opening doors, and looking out for the girls. The girls were amazing in the way they constantly led by example, spoke up during our devotionals, and always found ways to be inclusive. These students not only followed the rules, but they exceeded every expectation that was set before them. They not only represented our church well, but they represented Christ. I couldn’t be more proud of them!
The theme of the weekend, Just One, revolved around the idea that every Christian has a story to tell, and we are all called to be story tellers. God is constantly at work in our individual lives, whether we know it or not, and He is weaving our individual stories into His great story. Revelation 12:11 says “they triumphed over him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the word of their testimony…” As Christians, we each have the awesome privilege of being a part of this great story, a story of triumph over evil, and God intends for us to share our individual stories with others so that we may all join together in defeating the accuser. John 4 gives us a beautiful example of the power of testimony. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, she was an outcast, forced to draw water by herself in the middle of day because she could not be trusted. This was understandable considering the fact that she had five husbands, and the one she was currently with was not her own. However, Jesus entered into her life, and this changed everything. He knew everything about her, and yet he was not repulsed by her. Rather, he asked her for a drink; he talked to her; and he revealed himself to her. When she realized that the man with whom she was speaking to was the Messiah, she went back to her town, and she told everyone about this man who told her everything she ever did. John 4:39 says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.”
Are you sitting on a story? Maybe you think your story isn’t that exciting, or maybe you are embarrassed to share your story. If this is the case, consider this…your testimony is not about what you have done, but what God has done. Your testimony is the world’s proof that there is a God, and that He is still very much alive and active. People need to hear our stories, so they can have hope, and so that together, we may be able to triumph over the accuser.