You could tell something changed between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. We'd arrived at Purdue later than expected Tuesday night, barely eaten dinner, hadn't even gotten into our rooms, and rushed off to worship with 4500 of our new Triennium friends. The heat was oppressive and made it hard to sleep. The next morning started with small groups, so our Presbytery of Santa Fe youth were spread all over campus, mostly lost trying to find where their small group was supposed to meet. We were on a bumpy ride courtesy of the Holy Spirit, and you could tell stress levels were high. But the switch flipped by Thursday. When our delegation met mid-morning the tone was completely transformed from the day before. The energy was contagious, and confidence amplified, and our youth were THRIVING. The vast Purdue campus was no longer scary or hard to navigate, and the masses of other youth were no longer strangers but friends.
Whether engaged in worship unlike anything at our churches, enthusiastically trading hot air balloon pins with new friends, or exploring their faith in small groups, the youth of the Presbytery of Santa Fe had an experience they will never forget.
Thank you, THANK YOU, to the churches of this presbytery for supporting these youth, to the synod and ENC for helping with the costs of this endeavor, and especially to our incredible seven adult advisors that gave a week of their busy lives to ensure that our youth had this opportunity.