On February 5, Olivet Teen Mission International held their first online retreat of 2022 that gathered teenagers from across 9 countries including: U.S., Zambia, Kenya, Romania, Cambodia, Mongolia, India, Philippines, and Zimbabwe. Through this time, OTM members and Bible students could meditate on the theme “From Sin to Salvation” through the Word, praise, a short activity, and reflection time. Three Bible studies held from Romans 1, Romans 3, and Romans 5 explicating sin, why we need Jesus, and what it means to be justified by faith.
There were teens in the U.S. who gathered from early morning from 5AM and 6AM on a Saturday morning and teens in Asia, Africa, and Europe who offered their afternoons and evenings to the Lord. Though it’s a day that many teens spend on worldly pleasures, these teens decided to give their time to the Lord to meditate on His Word and gather with other fellow believers.
Below are reflections from a few attendees.
From an OTM Philippines member: “Many Christians believe that God gave humans free will so it is up to each person to decide for themselves whether to do good or evil. Only God can rectify the problem of humans often choosing to sin. To do this, he offered salvation through the sacrifice of Christ. In the Bible, chapter 3 of the Book of Genesis tells the story of how sin first entered the world. Adam and Eve were tempted by the Devil in the Garden of Eden. They ate an apple from the Tree of Knowledge after God had warned them not to, and as a result they were banished from the garden. all humans are descendants of Adam and Eve. This means everybody is connected to this first act of disobedience against God, the first original sin. Therefore, every person has the ability, and even an urge, to disobey God. A key Christian belief is that humans introduced sin into the world as a result of disobeying God. We believe that Jesus is our saviour because he came to Earth to save humankind from sin and mend their broken relationship with God. We believe that when Jesus died on the cross, he was sacrificed for the sins of humankind. This allows humans to be reunited with God after death in Heaven. This is called salvation. It refers to the love of Jesus Christ for humanity, the love of Christians for Christ, and the love of Christians for others. These aspects are distinct in Christian teachings-the love for Christ is a reflection of his love for all people.”
From an OTM U.S. member: “I learned from the first Bible Study that one reason that people sin is that they are bored and seek temporary excitement. That the world and all the things in it are temporary, and the only thing that is eternal is our spirit. Because of this, our lives should be dedicated to God, and our lives should be a sacrifice to God as a form of worship. I learned from the second Bible Study that we should control the desires that our bodies have and treat our bodies as the temple that is dedicated to God. We should also establish a firm relationship with God that is without shame and guilt. From the third Bible Study that sin is personal and is passed down to us from Adam. In the same way, salvation is also given to all of us through Jesus. That we were in the tree of Adam and can only bear fruits of sin. Now we are in Jesus’ tree and can now bear the fruits of life. That even though sometimes we can’t feel it, we have the power and authority to overcome sin and temptations.”
OTM will hold international online retreats every other month to help unite teens together from across the world. Teens have expressed joy in other teens also desiring to meet God from around the world. May this become a bowl to evangelize and raise many teens.