Calbreak 2015 wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, and I think I am tempted to call it my best trip yet! I have been on Calbreak for many many years now (maybe 11?), and I have almost expected it to start getting old, less fun, less impacting, less exciting. But I am so blessed to say that Calbreak is still one of my absolute highlights of the year, and a place where I can see God moving and feel His presence in very real and significant ways. I’ve been trying to look back on this trip, and figure out exactly why it was so good. But it seems like there are too many things to count. One definite highlight was the group of girls that I got to spend time with on this trip. I had 8 girls in my small group, and knew most of them well because we have been to Belize together. My small group was amazing, and it felt like we all loved every second we got to spend together. We laughed so hard and so often, we went on crazy rides and overcame fears, we had some honest talks about the challenges life brings us, we had dance parties, we cried together, we may or may not have had a few talks about boys. We had a crazy amount of fun, and I loved and cherished every single second together. Spending a week in Cali with them was a gift.
While I was in Cali I also got the incredible privilege of baptizing one of my youth. Kristen Weber is a girl I have known for several years, and we became close when she came to Belize with me in high school. Kristen is now living down in California and working at Cornerstone Church in Fountain Valley as a youth intern. She has wanted to get baptized for about a year but wanted to wait for an opportunity to for me to be there with her, and we decided that Calbreak would be an awesome chance for her youth pastor Gary and I to be able to baptize her together. We gathered on Laguna Beach with some of her close friends and church family, and a whole bunch of our Calbreak youth and Kristen got the chance to share what baptism is, what it means to her, and why she is ready to take this step in her life. It was such a great opportunity for so many of our Calbreak youth to get a window into not only baptism, but what walking with God looks like and how a relationship with Him can change and shape your life. After Kristen shared, Gary and I took her into the ocean and dunked her! It was one of the biggest honours of my life so far, and a day I will never forget. I am so incredibly proud of Kristen and the life she is living. She chooses to serve God and serve others every day, and it is a blessing to know her.
Calbreak continues to the funnest and one of the most creative ways I know that God has created to make Himself known. It is so relationally based, and is all about sharing life with youth. Being real around them. Listening to them. Sharing our perspectives. Sharing our faith. Sharing our doubts and fears, and letting them know it’s ok if they have doubts and fears too. I am told every single year by so many people that I must be crazy for hopping on a bus with so many teenagers for 10 days. But it’s really not crazy at all. It is a gift that I don’t take lightly, and it’s a front row seat to God showing up in very real and powerful ways. I am literally counting down the days until Calbreak 2016!