Going to a youth conference is something I haven't done for years and years. It sure is different being an adult and attending with a youth group. I felt very old at times and out of place a bit. Rush was held in Kelowna, hosted by Willow Park Church, and located on a large property with rallies in a barn! It was really frigid and there were limited bathrooms. We stayed at a church and slept on the floor and went without showers.
Don't get me wrong, I still had a great time and the music was amazing. The band Starfield led worship. Oh, how the girls loved Starfield. I couldn't help myself from yelling "Starfield" in a high-pitched voice everytime they came on stage in a slight mock of the girls who were over the moon for them. The only problem was, according to the girls, that Starfield was "too old." (The lead singer was 35 and guitarist was in his late 20s).It was so nice to see the students getting into the worship and hopefully God spoke to their hearts. There were times I didn't know what to do with a couple of the kids. But on the whole, the group was really great.
The speaker was Shane Claiborne. He was so intense, so interesting, so radical, so inspiring. He spoke about how desperately we need to be helping others in need, especially in poor countries. He said it was essential that the church in the western world do something for the world. We have so much. Did you know that the amount of money we spend on bottled water in one year could get all of Africa clean water?
Another highlight was Riley Armstrong. He is a singer-songwriter from the Lower Mainland and he is soooo funny! I was lucky enough to buy the last cd available at his table! We also laughed a lot at the comedian Daren Streblow. He did a standup act on Saturday evening. He was really great.On Saturday we went separate ways to various fun activities. Some went snowboarding/skiing, paintballing, video gaming and to the 'spa.' The spa was held at another church in Kelowna and had a variety of stations. There was salsa dancing, hair and make-up, nails, and crafts. They also had a coffee shop set up (for free!) and we had a catered lunch. After that, a young woman shared her testimony and how God is teaching her that she is adored by Him. It was really special.
Over all, it was a fun weekend with a great group of kids. I really enjoyed getting to know the youth better. I like how God will speak to you, even if you are at an event aimed at teens. He knows what you need to hear and that you can grow in Him at any time. Thanks God!