Yesterday was our fifth day here at Biola. It was slightly different from the other days, because after our morning session, we took off for the beach to do baptisms! The night before we had three people that decided to get baptized for the first time: Haley Smith, Dillon Duhon, Connor Shelby, and Nick Melillo. It was awesome to see these students take the first steps of faith on their journey of knowing and following Jesus. I know that God will do huge things with each of them, and it was truly a blessing to walk with them during this significant stage of their life.
After baptisms, we hung out at Huntington Beach for the afternoon. The boys swam in the ocean to whole time, a few of the girls went shopping, and I went to Starbucks to work on my message for youth sunday. John ate a lot: a double cheesburger, a cookie with ice cream (he says “it was good, and it was awesome”) from a place called The Scoop on Cookies. Tyler and I hit up Wahoo’s fish tacos for the second time, and Sarah and Austin took a picture by a 7-foot-tall longboard. Brianna got attacked by seaweed, and Mitchell Morgan saved her life!
We got back to campus in time for dinner and an awesome evening session. They showed a video called “Zambia’s Song,” which educated our students about the worldwide water crisis. Jayson French gave an awesome message on Paul and Timothy, unpacking 1 Tim. 4:12 and the barriers that Timothy faced that prevented him from INFLUENCE. He challenged our students to embrace a life of influence… to take advantage of the gifts that God has given all of us and use them to influence people for Christ. There are a lot of people who waste their lives on meaningless pursuits, but we are all called as Christians to be influencers with the message of Jesus.
Our youth group time last night consisted of everyone sharing what prevented them from being influential. We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun in our youth group room. John Kesler led us in worship. I feel like our group is just now starting to feel more like a family…being open with each other and sharing with each other. Spending this much time together tends to either rip people apart or pull them together. For us it has definitely brought us together. I’m excited to head back to Phoenix and share the things that we’ve learned and what God is doing in us with our church.
Later that night, I walked into Connor and Dillon’s room only to find Nick creepishly hiding in the closet (see below).
Hope you’ve enjoyed our blog… we’re ready for one more epic day of CIY…