I met Alice when she came to Campus Life a few times last year. This past school year she attended regularly with the friend who invited her. Her cynical comments and sarcasm made her stand out from the other shy 9th graders. She made sure we all knew that she hadn’t gone to church or anything. She knew some of the “right” churchy answers when asked as she joked around. As I got to know her, she was definitely coming for the games and to just have a place to hang out after school with her best friend.
Then Capital District Youth For Christ planned a high school retreat up in the Adirondacks at a camp. I was determined to get Alice to go. It would be a great time to get to understand her better just hanging out with fun stuff to do. She and her friend finally decided to give it a try after much persuasion.
She didn’t really want to participate in anything. She probably would have stayed in the room all weekend if I gave her the option, but in the end she tried things and talked to people (mostly because they talked to her first).
In our first small group discussion, after hearing different staff testimonies, she only gave one word answers and didn’t seem interested (she said it felt like therapy). By the second night, Alice finally started to share what she really felt and believed. Insecurity, loneliness, and sadness were her friends, and she liked them. Most of the other students said the same. Nothing radically changed in her life at that retreat, at least not that I could see. But the next week she was at Club again. Little by little I am believing that God will speak to her through His word and the relationship we are building with her. I’m praying that she will come to a place of believing and accepting the offer of new life that God gives to her.
*Names have been changed