Thursday, July 5, 2012

Intermission: IYC Denver (from the road)

We’re all in Denver through this weekend, but check back here next weekend for the conclusion of my Tokyo travelogue.  I’ll throw in some pics from the touristy part of my quick visit to Japan.

We made it!  Since Monday, a small group from our E.P.I.C. student ministry has been breathing mile-high air here in Denver, Colorado.  International Youth Convention 2012 officially kicked off last night, but we flew in a couple days early for a little fun.

A wet and wild day at Elitch Gardens water/theme park got our adrenaline pumping on Tuesday.  Aggressive water slides like the mind-scrambling Tube Top and the various speed slides kept us cool for most of the day.

That evening, our bravery was tested on the rickety wooden roller coaster Twister 2 (seen in the background of the photo above, which, if you look closely, features me and Will hanging on for dear life in the 6th car)… and especially on the up-down-forward-backward-upside down-sideways G-forces of the notorious Boomerang.  I lost all feeling in my face.  Is it possible for internal organs to liquefy?

The opening session of International Youth Convention was last night.  Thousands of teenagers sang along with Matt Papa’s passionate worship set, followed by a message from skater/boarder/surfer Zane Black. My conversation with Zane after the late night Group 1 Crew concert convinced me that he is a man of authentic faith who has truly been called to speak into the lives of teenagers.
Zane’s message led into an intimate time of reflection, response, and sharing with our students outside of the auditorium last night.

This morning, our students selected various breakout sessions to attend while the adult leaders were encouraged by energetic former Denver Bronco defensive back Steve Fitzhugh at the Youth Ministry Institute conference.  The IYC High School Band led an unbelievably gifted time of worship before the session!

In a few minutes, we’ll be leaving the convention center for our Impact: Denver service project.  Partnering with some other youth groups from across the U.S.A., we’ll be restoring and beautifying an inner city playground and public park.  It’s time to do some good!

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