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SHEPHERD'S LETTER

Surprise Party From God

January 30, 2020

I love a good surprise party. There is no better feeling in the world than showing up at a party you didn’t know about or plan. Is it just me who feels that way? You just get to enjoy it and receive it. Maybe you haven’t had a surprise party before. If not, I say you plan one for someone who would love it!

Over MLK weekend, High School Ministry trekked up to Green Valley Lake Christian Camp for our winter retreat and it was a party! We rent out the facility and program our own camp with the speaker, games, and recreation. Our high school team “planned” the weekend, but we were blown away by what God did up there. It felt like we got to show up at Green Valley Lake, and receive what God had for us in classic surprise party fashion.

The theme of winter retreat was Freedom. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. We created this theme because we know that so many of our students are in bondage and slavery. They are enslaved to fear of what others think, insecurity, rejection, loneliness, social media, shame towards sin and more. We prayed big prayers, asking God to break our own chains and the chains of our students. And he did exactly that!

I have countless stories of ways in which God answered this prayer, setting people free. My favorite moment was watching our students, our sweet high school students who are so concerned with image, what other people think and looking “cool”, run and dance during worship in the freedom of Jesus like no one was watching! Jesus brought freedom from bondage and slavery in so many ways that weekend. He brought healing, confession, honesty, clarity and darkness to light. Oh how good it feels to run, dance and sing in HIS freedom, the freedom that only comes from Jesus! Amen!?

Stephanie Tanquary

Stephanie Tanquary
Shepherd of High School Ministry