Xenos High-Schoolers See God's Faithfulness on Missions Trip

A team of high-schoolers from Xenos is back from a missions trip to the Dayton area. High-school junior Yara Moret gives us her impression of the experience: 

July 29-August 4, 2018 was the best week of my life.

That week I was part of a team of 27 high-schoolers and 6 college leaders who traveled to Xenia, Ohio to run a sports camp for kids who live there. We played games with them, had lunch together, and then had a teaching. After the teaching there were discussion groups and more games. At face value that doesn’t sound amazing, but with God at the center it was incredible

Every day I woke up and prayed for patience and energy. Everyday God gave me that and so much more. He gave me love for the "troublesome" kids. He gave me excitement for sports, which I loathe entirely. He gave me verses that applied to each day. He showed me where I could help and gave me the strength to follow through. He kept me from getting migraines because I forgot to drink water all day (oops) and didn’t eat a lot. One of the coolest things the Lord did was show me how much He has changed me.

At Epic one of my leaders wrote an encouragement note, saying how much he’d seen God change me. I wanted to agree with him but couldn’t think of anything that had changed at all. I still felt the same, still seemed to be struggling with the same things, and couldn’t see how God had changed me. But on this trip, God made those changes very clear. One of the trip leaders described me as “chill and upbeat.” That is not at all who I was three months ago. I struggle with anxieties about everything and rarely would anyone say that I was upbeat. It was super encouraging and an amazing testament to God’s power.

One thing I prayed for in advance of the trip was flexibility. The leaders talked about how we would need to be ready for anything and be prepared for things to not go according to plan. This was pretty scary for me. I like having a plan and sticking to it. So going into the trip, I prayed about this a lot. And God seriously came through. We made the smallest bit of a plan each evening and because God is good it worked out. I thought I would need more structure to give me peace but I was wrong. I got my peace from God. He would give me time during the camp to get away. On water day — my absolute least favorite day ever — I got to hang back in one of the classrooms with a little girl who struggled with her emotions and would often start sobbing. Because of this I took her inside, out of the water and the chaos, to read--and God allowed us read there the whole day.

Another thing I prayed for was unity for the team. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to love certain people. And I felt awkward about making friends with all the girls. God came through in this regard way more than I could’ve hoped. The friendships I made with the girls, including the leaders, were incredible. We became so closely knit because of serving with each other (talking about boys, doing face masks and having dance parties definitely helped!). There was also cool unity between the guys and the girls. Staying up too late listening to Soulja Boy and old Taylor Swift played a big role, but hearing everyone’s testimonies was the most unifying. Listening to how God had pursued and grown everyone on the team was incredible. The biggest contributor to our unity though, was the fact that we all had the same goal and were powered by the same Spirit.

We all prayed for campers to come into a relationship with their perfect Father. And we had thirty-three kids say they prayed to receive Christ. Without the Lord there was no way that would’ve happened. Each day we would debrief and there wasn’t a single day without at least two salvations. I personally got to pray with a little boy named Calvin to receive Christ. After he prayed we talked about Heaven and how cool it is going to be there. Specifically, we talked about how there’s going to be a giant room of vanilla ice cream because that’s his favorite. The last teaching was about how now that we have a relationship with God we can tell our friends about it. And so many of the campers were excited to do that.

Just because I’m no longer in Xenia doesn’t mean I have stopped praying. I pray for Calvin. I pray for continued excitement about the gospel for the kids that went to the camp. I pray for parents to come into a relationship with the Lord and get connected with a church. I pray for the other people on the missions team who I got to work with. And I pray that other high schoolers get to experience God’s amazing power like I did.