Adventure Week Recap
By Jayne Terasawa
I honestly didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I agreed to teach a class for Adventure Week. I had never served in this particular ministry before and was unfamiliar with what it entailed. Furthermore, speaking in front of people is not one of my strong points, and the topic I was being asked to teach on was hospitality, something I’m certainly no expert in. So, truth be told, I considered myself a rather ill-equipped choice. But I said yes to the invitation, because hospitality is something that I am seeking to grow in, and because I felt that gentle push from God to accept this opportunity.
Here’s what I learned from the experience:
Adventure Week allows kids to learn about the heart of serving others and to apply what they’ve learned in tangible ways by blessing different groups of guests through different types of service. Four different classes combine their efforts to this end, and every child who attends Adventure Week gets to experience each class, contributing in a new way each day. Guests are welcomed and hosted by the hospitality class, treated to a lunch made by the cooking class, receive handmade gifts from the crafts class, and after lunch return to clean cars, courtesy of the car wash class. It’s a multi-faceted event that allows the participants to serve in a variety of ways, both tangible (preparing a meal, washing a car, giving a gift) and relational (having a conversation, serving a guest, getting to know a new friend).
The theme for this year’s Adventure Week was “We are Ohana, We are One!” Each day, before jumping into the flurry of activities, everyone met as “family” to worship together and receive exhortation from Pastor Victor and the skit team. It was a time to be reminded of what it means to be called to life together as we love and serve the body of Christ.
In a world that is so focused on the self and on gratifying our own desires, we desperately need to be reminded of the calling that we have to walk in the footsteps of Jesus: we are to “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind [we are to] regard one another as more important than [ourselves…], not merely [looking] out for [our] own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). This can take on the form of cooking a meal, striking up a conversation, creating a thoughtful gift, cleaning up a car...or it might look like something else entirely.
The things that stop us from serving others can also take on many forms. For me, one of the greatest challenges is my struggle with perfectionism and my tendency to focus on what I can’t do rather than on what God can do through me if I’m willing. I think about how I’m too introverted, or how my schedule is too busy or my house feels chaotic, or about that time I tried reaching out to someone, and it didn’t go well. Maybe I regret the times I knew I should have struck up that conversation or extended that spontaneous invitation or made that phone call and didn’t, missing a moment that God may have given me to bless someone else. And so I talk myself out of future opportunities because I feel either too ill-equipped in the moment or too discouraged by the past to move ahead. But this is when I need to remind myself that it’s not about me. The goal of lovingly serving others is not to execute things perfectly. The goal is to have a heart of humility that is willing to take steps of obedience in response to God’s calling.
And this is what I love about Adventure Week: the focus is not on tangible acts of service alone, but on having a heart that is being shaped by and modeled after Jesus’ heart, a heart of compassion that sees the needs of others and is motivated by love to act. A heart that makes God (not our weaknesses or limitations) the focus. A heart that is open to serving in whatever way God calls.