Our purity retreat was over a week ago now... actually two weekends ago but I'm just now getting the chance to write out some thoughts. It was a great retreat. I enjoyed myself so much more this year but I think that's partly due to being more comfortable here (we'd only been here about 2 months last year), I'm more comfortable with the students, Isabella seemed easier to care for and the camp was just fabulous... didn't have to worry about any 2inch roaches!
Anyway... as for the conference itself I was really impressed with this year. Not that I didn't like last year but I felt it was more focused on thinking and discussion rather than teaching and I noticed a difference in the involvement of the students... well at least the girls. At each session they opened up, shared their hearts, their questions, their frustrations and took time to really think about what was being said. They often repeated some common phrases (like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus) or were being silly about how they would treat a guy (oh just punch him) but we stopped them and made them think about how serious the stuff we were talking about was and it was neat to watch thier faces and hear the tones in their voices change as they understood our hearts and that we were only trying to help.
We discussed things such as how to treat men right, finding our significance in Christ alone, and the famous session... dating. It wouldn't be right of me to go into the things these girls shared or even the more specifics of what we taught but I was amazed all weekend to hear the girls talking about what they were learning and to see the lights go off as they finally understood something.
I have to admit though... the best session was the 'Swap' where Mike and Tim joined us ladies for a time of question/answer. These guys were halarious but very truthful and I think the girls' eyes were opened up to some very interesting male perspectives. As always a big discussion was based on clothing and how a Godly girl should dress. This is always a touchy subject for girls but it was unbelievable to hear from the guys perspective and I think the girls began to understand why we shouldn't wear certain things.
There was a comment after the conference that struck me big time and is something that I will always carry with me (personally and for future 'clothing' discussions) was that if a guy can put his hand up and block the majority of your clothing (on the top half) than it's very easy and very tempting for him to picture you nude. We know that guys are visual but this statement heped me to understand how big of a deal this is for them and it was a huge reminder that we need not only to protect ourselves, we need to help our guys not to be tempted. This was another comment.... 'Well why should I change because a guy can't control himself?' God tells us not to cause our brothers to stumble. And if that's not a good enough reason... do you want someone looking at you in that way?
The majority of the students were new this year and after the conference I was a bit bummed because I felt that there was so much valuable information discussed that even if someone had attended before... they would have benefited. So I guess my prayer for next year is that everyone would return plus we would get new people. Purity doesn't seem to be as important these days and I think it's important for all students to understand the benefits of living a pure and godly life.
And on a very side note.... during free time I was chatting with Geeta and Shamala when I noticed something slivering across my foot (why always me????) but again I ignored it until Shamala said, 'Don't panic.' Me:"What? What is it?' After it has slivered passed us... Shamal: "It was a snake. I don't think it was poisonous." Uh... I sure hope not.
And Izzy was awesome! I bought her a stroller for her doll and she played with it all weekend long. That's all she wanted to do was push her puppy around. Unfortunately, she is still enthrolled with steps so in an attempt to take the stroller down the steps, she fell and got her first big bump on the head. No worries though... she was as good as new after a good nap only to do it again in a week.