In July, teenagers from all over the Wellington Archdiocese (and even New Plymouth) joined us in Otaki at Forest Lakes Camp and Conference Centre for an epic week of discovering and developing their faith. Thank you to our amazing team of leaders and our awesome teenagers for making this the best camp! You can find more photos from retreat on our socials @adwyoungchurch!
Molly Powell shared a reflection on her experience;
My experience of the Discovery Retreat during the first week of the July holidays brought me closer to my relationship with God, and with the people, I had the opportunity to connect with over the week. It was a gratifying time where I learnt how I can not only help others find Christ, but strengthen our own relationships with Christ, through sessions, adoration, and activities for both teen participants and leaders. A highlight for me was meeting many like-minded young people who wanted to connect more with their faith, which made it a great space for bonding with people my age, not always related to our faith, but sharing our own stories and interests in life. Through this, I had the chance to personally befriend many of the session leaders, worship leaders, as well as many youth participants, as one myself. It was very heartening to see many people all at Discovery, to learn about God’s love and impact in our lives, and to share it with other people around us, that may struggle to build that faith in the Lord or a strong connection with Christ. Over the week we had the opportunity to share our own stories and thoughts from each session and our testimonies from our own faith journeys. Hearing so many personal stories constantly reminded me that I was not alone in my faith, as all these people, specifically rangatahi my age, around me helped me grow my relationship with Jesus. Even in the lesser faith-related activities such as obstacle courses, mini-games and quizzes, disco and campfire night, and laser tag against Fr. Hayden, you could easily see the bond that everyone had grown throughout the week, reflecting how through the Discovery Retreat many of us had grown in our own personal journeys of faith.