Over the weekend, my church and I had a spectacular young adults retreat up in Running Springs! We lodged at Forest Home's Lakeview cabins and experienced quality time with God in the most serene environment ever. A huge shout out to Forest Home for providing such a special place of worship for churches worldwide!
Fun fact: Billy Graham (the renowned evangelist) had an encounter with God right at this rock in Forest Home; an experience that eventually transformed his life, ministry, and the eternities of the millions of people he preached to thereafter. All of Graham's doubts and theological questions about the Scriptures were resolved as he committed himself to believing God's Word wholeheartedly. As the Spirit moved, Graham cried, “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word—by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word!”
I was assigned the first cabin with my best friends and the view was absolutely breathtaking. Mornings were icy cold with a particular crispness that's completely foreign to SoCal. From our cabin, we saw massive amounts of snow piling down the mountain crevices. Below it all was a solemn, blue-green lake. I've been to Lakeview three times and it still sweeps me away.
In the summer, the lake is filled with festivities: canoeing, blob jumping, floating trampolines; the works. In the colder seasons, the lake acts as a point of reflection for contemplating campers. The beautiful campgrounds also have other activities that run throughout every season, such as archery, ziplines, an obstacle course, a giant swing, and more.
These are my two best friends:
I had the privilege of heading the decorations apartment, so here's what our mini stage looked like:
The paper peony was handmade by yours truly! Tutorial coming soon!! :P
And here is our adorable worship team:
During solitude hour, we each retreated to our own serene corner of the camp to pray and spend time with the Lord. To accommodate, the usher team and I set up little "picnic stations" around the lake to make the experience more comfortable for everyone.
Each station consisted of a Mexican falsa blanket and a tray with the essentials: a bible, pen, and notebook.
I spent solitude hour walking around the campgrounds and just taking in all my wonderful blessings, and then I stumbled across this cuteness:
It's a contemplating dinosaur!
This was the same dinosaur we encountered earlier in the day:
Just hatched and already terrorizing the innocent campers! It's a good thing solitude hour gave her the space she needed to reflect on her violent dinosaur ways.
A few feet away from the contemplating dinosaur was this gorgeous chapel:
I couldn't believe my eyes! The architecture was absolutely stunning.
And then I came across this awesome scenic spot... and obviously couldn't get enough of it xP
It's not everyday you get to have that majestic view as your background!
...And then came our competitive group photoshoot during golden hour. LOL!
I was unhappy because we had lousy poses compared to the boys.
How did they come up with this one? So weird and yet extremely entertaining.
And then we got photobombed by a pastor-- er-- kangaroo?
Infinity signs. So basic.
It definitely can't beat this masterpiece:
"What pose should we do?!"
*Doesn't think twice about their poses; just instinctively got in formation*
Again, we got photobombed T_T
So now comes our obligatory fake laughing photos to make it seem like we're having so much fun.
But the boys were actually laughing because... there were holes in my pants. -_-
The three mice ❤. When I first became serious about my faith, I was praying fervently to God for godly best friends because I didn't have that kind of friendship with anyone. Soon after, the Lord brought us three together-- one Vietnamese, one Korean, and one half Pinay chick became best friends in a predominantly Indonesian church. It was def. God-ordained LOL!
At night, we gathered around the campfire to roast marshmallows and enjoy each other's company.
As beautiful as the campgrounds were, my favorite parts about the Revive Retreat were getting to connect with all of my closest friends and learning so much more about God's relentless pursuit of me. What an indescribable joy!!
I hope you enjoyed my adventures up in Running Springs! If you ever get the chance, you should definitely book a trip to Forest Home. They have amazing facilities and their camp food is actually DELICIOUS. You'll have a grand time-- guaranteed.
"I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart." -Ezekiel 36:26