Preparing Teens for Advent

On October 31st, my dreams almost came true. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to pass out Halloween candy from my house to masses of gleeful trick-or-treaters. It may sound trivial to you, but I have failed in this endeavor for the past two years. I would […]


“For where two or three have gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt 18:20

This year the team at Covecrest hosted the first ever Missionary Family Weekend. Parents, siblings, aunts and even family friends joined in on our life of prayer and mission for Super Bowl weekend. Below is a short reflection from the perspective of some of our missionary parents. 


Dear Anonymous,

Thanks again for your donation and your prayers. You are a part of this mission and we pray for you everyday. The ripple effects of your generosity are reaching far and wide. Many teens, college students, young adults and missionaries (myself included!) are coming to fall more in love with Christ and His mission. On behalf of all os us, THANK YOU!


A year ago I was a college senior sitting in my school’s career center taking different assessments to figure out my life’s plan and what career paths would best suit me.  After two weeks of quizzes, personality tests, and an in-depth look at what I do and don’t value, I got my results.

My highest rated career match was a financial analyst. “Okay,” I thought. “I’m good with numbers and analytical-type work, so this makes sense.”  But it was the second match, which came in a close second, that really threw me off. What was it you ask?



The MUCKSTER is a small swamp outside one of our main retreat buildings. The swamp surrounds the building like a miniature moat and Is blocked off by a small stone wall. The problem is that the sneaky MUCKSTER looks so similar to the dry safe land around it that teens are constantly stepping over the small wall into a very muddy situation.  

I despise the MUCKSTER and needless to say all of us missionaries are brainstorming ways to keep it from swallowing up teens. Yet, strangely enough, though it pains me to say it, God has somehow managed to bring great blessing to me from this swamp. How could this be!?


However, after some affirmation from my fellow missionaries at the end of the first night of the retreat, and some quick thinking and creative tactics from my teaching days at Presentation College, day two of the retreat had brought a cry of relief. IT MOVED! This huge obstacle of distraction and structure in these boys life had been broken down so that they could run free through the mountains of Covecrest to experience a God who just simply wanted to take them on an adventure.


The past two weeks we have been doing formation on a book by Henri Nouwen called The Return of the Prodigal Son. This book journeys through the personal reflection Nouwen has while reflecting on a painting of the prodigal son done by Rembrandt.

As we have been studying this book I have had to ask myself, what is the parable of the Prodigal Son really about?


What if today I too left behind my every “if only:” The ‘if only’ of my past, the ‘if only’ I call fears, the small ‘if only’ of every day… ? What if I refused to shout, “The rocks are upside down!” and shouted out instead a resounding, “Thank you God!” for all these rocks!? 


As I helped knock down the physical wall I was able to see the fullness of what had happed over the weekend and in my life. The wall was a representation of what happened internally to each guy on the retreat, including myself. The walls of their hearts were broken down with the help of their brothers and God.