Do you know how to NOT evaluate the success of a church youth group high school retreat? Just because the fire department, the EMT’s and the police department all visited your venue over the weekend doesn’t necessarily mean the trip was a complete failure. Yep, I had that happen once on a trip in Tennessee.
Tennessee is a youth pastor’s dream state because fireworks are legal there. Yeah Boy! What a show we put on for our group that night from the deck of our residence! Of course, we could have been a bit more sensitive to the fact that it was 1AM… hence the visit from the local police department. It was cool though… they acknowledged that we hadn’t broken any laws, but kindly enforced the reality that we had been a bit insensitive to others because of the late hour. They were great guys and as my youth group kids looked on in concern over their visit, I whispered to them that if they “arrested” me it might be fun to see those kids’ reaction. So there I was, cuffed and put in the back of the police cruiser while my students stood there in shock with their mouths hanging open.
The next night we had a girl roll out of a top bunkbed and dislocate her knee cap. Yeah… I have pretty much seen it all in youth ministry. So… there was a visit from the community’s EMT’s and an ambulance trip to the hospital. By the way, just what are the chances of a teenager rolling out of a bed and dislocating a knee?
The very next night our neighbors put on their own fireworks show… but at the more appropriate hour of 11 PM. One hour later a student ran into our cabin shouting that the wooded area below our cabin was on fire. Sure enough those fireworks has sparked a significant fire and low and behold now we had the fire department on site! At least we didn’t CAUSE that fire.
I am grateful for those who serve us on the front line within our community. Police Officers, EMT’s and Fire Fighters play such an important role for the safety and well-being of our community. They serve us so well. Recently some of them have come unfairly under fire by some in our society. Today, we are going to minister to these folks in Willard by writing thank you cards to them. Later in the week we will deliver the cards along with a gift basket and lunch on us. Thank you for making sure those who serve us know that they are appreciated!