Tuesday, August 21, 2007


The first thing I did in my return to life in Boston last week was to go camping with twenty-something sixth, seventh, and eight graders from JQUS. Along with Mr. Chang and his wife, Mrs. Chang, we stayed for a week at T.L. Storer, a boyscout camp. Imagine all those kids from Chinatown, Roxbury, Dorchester, and other inner-city neighborhoods living a week in the woods alongside with disciplined suburbanite boyscouts, having to salute the flag, live in tents, and endure coyotes at night!

What was it like?Bugs in tents... hiking 5 miles... strange food... homesickness... The days were a lot of fun, filled with waterfront activities, climbing walls, rifling, archery, and getting to know each other better. But the nights were a little scary for most of our kids... I spent every night going tent to tent, picking out the spiders and checking for slugs, assuring students that there was no bear, etc. Yes, there were coyotes howling every night, too. We had a few sicknesses-- mostly from not going to the bathroom or not eating correctly. In the end, however, I think everyone will look back at this trip fondly.

Highlights for me: counting to 500 on the even numbers with a kid at 11PM to put him to sleep, jumping off a bridge into a river with one of my incoming 7th graders, flipping over in a canoe (yet again), having great conversations with former students, beating Jovanna and Demetris in basketball, and watching our group come in 3rd place in the Magee Cup Relay

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer Teen Conference!

BCEC's annual Summer Teen Conference-- a retreat for the high school and middle school youths-- is starting up this Friday. As with every year, a lot of preparation goes into it, from logistics of transportation, to caring for the spiritual well being of students and especially student leaders, to writing sermons for the retreat... and more. There will be approximately 100 students attending this summer from urban, suburban, churched, and non-churched backgrounds. Some of them will be attending for the first time-- for example, there is a big segment of middle school students from Project Destiny who are being integrated into the regular youth ministries. The theme is LifeSaver-- How we are saved, why we are saved, from what we are saved, for what are we saved, and how does it feel to be saved.

If you are willing to spare a moment, please pray:
  1. That the God's Word would be preached and that the Holy Spirit would prepare receptive hearts in the youths
  2. That Christ would be glorified and magnified in the eyes of our youths
  3. For the counselors who will be leading small groups in discussion and counseling each student one-on-one
  4. For Pastor Enoch and me who will be delivering the preaching for the weekend
  5. For the various logistics, like transportation, programming, etc.
Personally, it means that from here until Monday, there will be a lot of work to do, such as organizing worship team details, prepping sermons, counseling students, writing discussion questions... it might require an all-nighter. I will update more once STC is over. Meanwhile, your prayers are greatly coveted.