On the morning of September 18, Olivet Teen Mission (OTM) held its long-anticipated international retreat with over 33 attendees online! Even though it was the first international retreat, by the grace of God, it was able to progress smoothly and the teens were strengthened with a newfound sense of unity.
The international retreat was the first retreat OTM held to unite teens from all chapters around the world. With messages focused on delivery of the Word to newcomers and younger members, the retreat was themed “Saved by Faith” and focused on Romans 1-4, each chapter having its own Bible Study. Bible Studies 1 and 2 were delivered by Pastor Amanda Garcia, who focused on explaining the wrath of God towards sin in believers and non-believers alike. Bible Studies 3 and 4 were delivered by Josephine Disla and focused on explaining the concept of salvation by faith.
Woven in between the Bible Studies were praise times, breaks, sharing times, and even a short game session. The entire atmosphere of the retreat was very lively with eager participation from the teens. Not only were the teens spiritually satisfied from the Word given, but they were also mutually encouraged by each other’s presence.
As testified by an OTM chapter, the teens “realized they were not alone. They can become more active in joining many [teens] from other countries.” The Mongolia chapter also joyfully shared that an inactive OTM Mongolia RCM reignited the desire to join: “I want to be in this fellowship again. I want to continue studying the Bible together.” Three teen members from the Philippines also reached out through their leader for contacts of other teens, wanting to make new friends and know more about each other.
Although the retreat Bible Studies focused on the heavy topics of sin and the wrath of God, the teens were able to look beyond the cross that burdens them into the joy of salvation they have within Jesus Christ. The attending teens were able to have fun through the break times/games and experienced joyful fellowship with one another in the sharing.
May all praise, honor, and glory be to the Lord who has so faithfully watched over the retreat and poured down abundantly His love and grace on the teens. Through this retreat, may they be able to taste the joy of salvation in faith and take a glimpse at the heavenly world of love. And above all may they continue to grow steadily and embrace their true image in Christ that shines for the world to see.