February 2, 2017 @ 9:14 AM by: Jennifer Frank
Written by Pastor Abby Davidson
On January 20, our junior highs hopped on a bus with two other Toronto churches and headed north for a weekend at Muskoka Woods. It was a two and a half hour bus ride which we needed to rest because the schedule was nonstop from the time we arrived until we left on Sunday afternoon.
In total there were just over 500 junior highs there from all over Ontario and Quebec. CBOQ staff put a lot of planning into the weekend so, despite a large number of people, everything ran smoothly.
Upon our arrival, we found our cabins and dropped off all our luggage. We arrived after snack (much to everyone’s dismay) so we headed straight to the Hangar where the main sessions take place. We were led in worship by Chasing After, a band from London, Ontario. The speaker for the weekend, Heather Flies, is a junior high Pastor from Minnesota who spoke about being the real you, dealing with sin and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. She has a personality that is larger than life and she really connected with the junior highs (and the adults too!). She brought the message of the cross to life. She gave a dramatic illustration that showed when we feel far from God, he’s not the one who moved! Heather talked about how school, technology, and even friends can be a distraction from staying close to God. She also talked about having ownership over your faith and making your relationship with Jesus personal. We were able to talk over all these ideas in our cabin small groups after each of the four sessions.
In addition to the main sessions, there were snow activities, team games in the gym, movie night and several other smaller events. The girls most enjoyed hanging out with their cabin-mates, some girls from Hamilton and Peterborough.
Here are the weekend highlights according to the girls:
“I learned that God is there and I need to be willing to get into a relationship with him. We also talked about a lot of things that I want to take home to my family.”
“I learned that I need to build a stronger relationship with Jesus, It’s easy to get distracted by school and technology but these things cause me to drift away. I want to come back as a child of God.”
“It was good to make new friends and I would love to come back next year”
Everyone really enjoyed themselves and they all expressed a desire to return next year. It was great for the girls to meet new Christian friends and to have dedicated time to talk about the big issues in their lives and how faith can inform those issues. It was great for me to spend so much time with them!