Girls “revolve” at teen retreat

Cascade and Northwest youth learn about living a life centered on Jesus.

by Lisa M. Van Cleef, Captain – 

One hundred and twenty-five girls from the Cascade and Northwest divisions enjoyed a joint retreat.

Seven thousand screaming teenage girls—and no boys in sight. Weird.

When the Revolve Tour—a new stadium event produced by Women of Faith—made its only West Coast stop in Portland, 125 teen girls from the Cascade and Northwest Divisions were there to take part. Featured artists included Tammy Trent, Natalie Grant and Zoe Girl.

The question for the weekend was, “What does your world revolve around?” Too often, teen girls are pressured to think their world is about friends, clothing, and boys.

Each speaker assured the girls that with God’s help, it is possible to live a life that revolves instead around Jesus.

Natalie Grant shared her story of trying to fit in by losing weight. She suffered with bulimia for many years before winning the fight with God’s help. Losing her husband in a tragic accident left Tammy Trent feeling alone and afraid. But her testimony is one of assurance; God came to her in her darkest moment and gave her new life.
Barbara Abney (Newport, Ore.) shares: “Tammy Trent’s testimony about losing her husband, made me realize I could live without my dad who passed away five years ago.”

Other stories from Chrissy Conway of Zoe Girl as well as Olympians Laura Wilkinson and Kimiko Soldati continued to press home the fact that our identity is found in who we are in Christ, not in being who the world would have us be.

“What really impressed me the most was that those women have gone through the same things that I have in the last couple of years,” said Katie Grindle (Seattle Temple, Wash.). “Also, that God is so amazing. He puts people in our lives to help us get through things.

The girls were pleased when one guy was allowed in—motivational speaker Chad Eastham. Eastham encouraged the girls to remember that guys and gals are made differently, and therefore think and act differently. He illustrated his point by holding up cooked spaghetti noodles and a waffle.

“This waffle. That’s us guys. We think in squares; only one square at a time,” he said. “This spaghetti is you girls—everything is connected and intermingled and has meaning.”

The girls were able to make a whole weekend out of it by staying at Camp Kuratli for the first Teen Girls Retreat. After the stadium event Saturday night, girls were divided into teams to play games and get acquainted, since many had not met before the weekend conference.

At the Sunday commitment service, Captain Amy Reardon, Christian education director for the Northwest Division, encouraged the girls to think of one thing God spoke to them about and make a commitment to follow through.

“This event was fabulous for my girls,” said Captain Diane Madsen (Puyallup, Wash.). “Three of my four made commitments; two of them shared them with me and they were pretty substantial—not just the typical ‘I’ll read my Bible more’ type of things. Very deep.”

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