My Experience at TeenPact Venture
This week’s installment of the TeenPact Blog comes from Danny Pearson (FL). Danny attended TeenPact Venture 2016, held October 16-21 in Dayton, Tennessee.
I came into the week with big expectations, and still they were exceeded. I had never attended Venture before this year, but I had heard from several friends that it was great. It gave me the opportunity to create new friendships and deepen relationships with some of the guys that I already knew.
On the first day I walked into a room assigned to the green team, a room that ten other guys had also been assigned to. I knew some of them and some were total strangers, but by the end of the week it would feel like they were all my brothers. We worked as a unit and everyone was gracious and forgiving. I don’t think I could point to any time in the week where I wasn’t having a blast. Johnny Leifheit said during one of his talks that if there was a better place for you to be in, God’s providential love would have you there. Venture was definitely the best place for me to have been at that moment in time. I’m not the type of guy who is inclined to take notes, but during the week I could hardly put my pencil down— evidence that the week was relevant and impacting.
One of the most meaningful lessons that I learned at Venture is that life as a Christian is not going to be without hardship, which is why our foundation of faith in Christ is crucial when building our character. In Jesus’ parable about the wise and foolish men building their houses upon rock and sand, both houses were hit by the same storm. The wise man was not exempt from hardship just because he built his house on a strong foundation. The only difference between the wise man’s house and the foolish man’s house is that one was still standing after the storm. The same idea applies to our character. If we have a foundation of faith, our character will stand under hardship. Along with foundation, identity in Christ is essential to survive in this culture. We are going to be inclined to chase approval, but sometimes approval cannot be achieved. Identity is remembering who you were before Christ, you were a stranger to God. It’s remembering who you are now that He is working in your life—you are adopted. It’s remembering how you got to your station in life because of God.
Venture has left me with fond and funny memories. Our team had the last place time in the obstacle race, but we ended up in first place because of a rule where we were able to deduct five minutes off of our time by doing push-ups. During the flag football tournament, our team played incredibly. I’m not a football star, so winning the tournament was definitely a personal highlight for me! During a relay race towards the end of the week, there was a challenge where the whole team had to balance a tennis ball on a Frisbee on our fingertips and walk down a soccer field and back. We made it halfway across the field when suddenly, the ball fell off of the Frisbee. We tried a few more times and failed over and over again until we stopped and prayed. After that, our team walked the frisbee all the way down and all the way back flawlessly, which was incredible.
God’s power was displayed this week in more ways than one. It was displayed in the love that the men around me showed to one another and in the insightful talks of Mr. Peter Martin, Quinton Cools, and Johnny Leifheit. Because of these things, I left Venture with a deeper understanding of my purpose as a Christian and a man.