Summer Youth Retreat Report

Earlier this summer, many TLC teens had the opportunity to attend a six-day retreat filled with teaching, song, encouragement, and games. Though it was raining season, it was sunny every day of the retreat! Many of the students responded to the beauty of their surroundings, and as the week progressed they seemed to form deepening friendships with one another. TLC staff and other leaders in attendance were greatly encouraged by how the students opened up with another and built up their peers. On the last day many students where overwhelmed with gratitude. They said they were amazed that they had been allowed to come to such a beautiful place and receive this camp experience. TLC Director Ayele Kidan shares about their time at the retreat:   

It was the first time TLC staff and children were able to spend extended time (six days) together as one family. In total, 76 people were able to attend the retreat, of which 66 were TLC high school and college students and the remaining were group leaders.

The theme of the youth retreat was Renewal, and each speaker spoke about and trained the children based on this theme.

 Many of the older youth helped by sharing from their personal testimonies and leading group studies.

Many of the older youth helped by sharing from their personal testimonies and leading group studies.

It was a good opportunity for TLC staff to better understand the children as we lead and facilitated group discussion. The group discussion also helped students to get to know each other, comfort each other, and advise each other.

As you know, due to the limited space of TLC’s compound, we teach TLC children in different groups at different times. Though this mechanism has its advantages, we have also vividly noticed how it has prevented children from knowing each other and having fellowship amongst themselves.

 We did a series of trust activities. These seemed to have a huge impact. The children had never encountered challenges like these. It sparked some great discussions.

We did a series of trust activities. These seemed to have a huge impact. The children had never encountered challenges like these. It sparked some great discussions.

The six days and nights of our retreat were a blessing for the children and enabled them to know and understand each other. I even heard from some children that they had a chance to correct their wrong perceptions about other peer groups.

I have also had a chance to discuss and talk for hours on different issues with children whom I normally don’t have much time to talk with except when exchanging greetings.

In general, the time we spent together was very fruitful and enlightening. Children were able to ask many questions which paved a way for me to share meaningful lessons.

I would like to thank Tammy, the team leader and main speaker, for her preparation and teaching methodology, which enabled children to learn many things.

Ayele G/K