On the evening of Friday, February 4th, 17 students and 16 mentors gathered together at a home in Seoul (rented via airbnb) for our 2nd annual retreat. The purposes of this retreat are to grow closer with the students, to give them a chance to open up and share and receive prayer, and to have a fun time together. This retreat was indeed all of that and more! Below is a photo blog of the retreat, but first I wanted to share a few highlights…
Now on to the photo blog!
Here is the airbnb we stayed at. 2 floors with a small basement. It had enough beds for 24 people, so a bunch of the students and mentors crowded in together on the beds. It was definitely a family atmosphere and everyone enjoyed it. =)
As the students arrived we taught them Mexican dominoes and they caught on quickly. It was a fun game to help them relax and connect with each other.
After some initial games/relaxed time together, we served dinner for everyone
Here is staff member Mijeong addressing everyone.
After dinner we broke up into two groups and played group games. Here is one of the group games: The Couch Game
Our staff member Jee led this game and it was a lot of fun!
The winning team!
We also had a photo scavenger hunt for the teams led by Mijeong.
After the group games we gathered all together and our 4th year student Young Suk shared his testimony. Some of the students expressed after the retreat how they were inspired by Young Suk’s faith and by the way he has grown. Young Suk graduates this week from college. We’re so proud of him!
Here is a wide shot of the testimony sharing time
Staff member Jee talking with some of our amazing mentors during a snack break after Young Suk’s sharing
After the snack break I taught a seminar titled: Overcoming Fear. During the seminar the students wrote down some of their fears and some of the identities they’ve received from growing up in the children’s home. I shared how most fears are from weak identities: “I might get rejected because I’m not good enough.” “I might fail because I’m not smart enough.” “I might be alone because I’m not lovable enough.” After the seminar we split the students into small groups with their mentors and had a really good sharing time together. We talked about the seminar, about their fears, and also about their time growing up in the children’s homes including their better memories. We closed the small group times by praying for the students.
After the small group time (ended at 12:30am) some of the students and mentors talked for a bit before sleeping while many other students and mentors stayed up late playing games together.
In the morning we gathered all the students on the 2nd floor. My staff members Jee and Mijeong went over the program requirements with the students and then they signed their contracts for 2017 and also wrote reflections about their experiences with Oak Tree Project from this past year.
On the 1st floor our mentors prepared breakfast for the students while they were writing their reflections
After breakfast we let the mentors of our three students who are about to graduate share a bit about their experience. We then had some prayer time for our soon to be graduates. We’re so proud of them!
Here is a group shot of us before saying goodbye. It was a wonderful time!
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