“Dare to step out of your comfort zone” – the challenge given to each participant of LEAD, a three-week discipleship program. LEAD stands for Leadership, Experience, Apprenticeship, Discipleship, and has a vision for preparing young people to serve and lead in the Church. For twenty days in August, ten participants age 16 to 21 and their two leaders journeyed together – a journey that drew them closer to one another and closer to Jesus.
It started with a wilderness trip in the French Alps. For six days they learned & grew in the midst of creation – persevering through the difficult moments, celebrating the victories, and living in rich community. As they journeyed, they learned about and practiced the disciplines of prayer, solitude, fasting, study, and service. After the time in the mountains, they came back to base camp, washed themselves & their clothes, and headed to the airport for a missions trip… but where?
Upon arrival at the airport they learned that they would be serving the refugee community in Athens, Greece. The group opened itself to five French-speaking refugee men with whom they served side-by-side breaking down a remote summer camp. Eyes and hearts were opened to a reality of life so very different from what these youth live. And through this opening, they were changed. In them grew a desire to love more, to serve better, and to fix their eyes on the cross. The ten youth and two leaders had stepped out of their comfort zone, and after three weeks they stepped back into their everyday lives with experiences and tools that will help them “run for the crown” – they were LEADers.
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