Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Very Beep Bop Christmas

Last Friday night we had our last big hoorah for our youth group for the year. We had 22 middle and high schoolers show up for our Christmas party, making it our largest youth group ever! We had a lot to pack in in our three hours together, so I'll get started.

No Christmas party is complete without a dirty Santa gift exchange. There were some awesome presents, including a rash guard, hot chocolate, popcorn, Rubix Cube, and a box of Raisin Bran. I went home with a pair of snowflake earrings and Nick won a golfer paperweight.
 Everyone holding up their fabulous and ridiculous prizes

Moving on, our next event was a gingerbread house making contest. We split everyone into three teams and gave each team complete gingerbread supplies, including graham crackers, frosting, gum drops, candy canes, sprinkles, red vines, etc. Their task was to build the most creative gingerbread house. Pastor Jeff was our judge, and each team had one minute to explain why their gingerbread house was the best. Here, Tristan is schmoozing Pastor Jeff Chamorro style, trying to convince Pastor Jeff that they should win because he likes their group's members the best.

Team 2 posing with their gingerbread house

Team 3's house was a gingerbread church, trying to appeal to the judge. The winner was group #1, which pulled ahead because of the tennis courts and dog house they built on the property!

My counterpart Doug is moving off island at the end of the month to pursue his teaching career, so this was his last youth group event. He gave his final youth group message, reminding everyone of the reason for the season and sharing Christ with these special young people for his last time.
Next I surprised everyone, especially Doug, with a video about Doug's time as a youth director with the church. He's been there about twice as long as me, so there were lots of pictures! So awesome to see all he has done over the years. It also made me start getting sad about my own departure within the next year... glad I still have lots of time left because it's going to be really hard to leave these kids!

For our grand finale, we played our favorite youth group game, Beep Bop. Pastor Jeff and Doug, who are both leaving by the year's end, were the first two boppers. Nick and one of our 7th graders, Amanda, who is also leaving, were the second round of boppers, whopping kids with a rolled up newspaper while we all ran around and hid in the dark. The game is always a blast and we never want to stop, but like everything else, all good things must come to an end. Sad that when I return to Guam, three of the people in this picture will have moved on, as people do from Guam. I know it won't be the same without them, but I also know our group will continue on, and without a doubt, new faces will show up and our group will still feel whole in its own way. So grateful for this job and all the wonderful people of all ages it has connected me to on the island. With any luck, our paths will cross again.

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