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How Time Spent at Joy El Brought Life Change

How time spent at Joy EL (a Christian retreat center in Pennsylvania) brought life-change.

By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director

These words represent great excitement and joy.  Do you remember the last time that you heard someone exclaim, “I did it!”

A month ago, I was leading a small group of six high school guys at a weekend retreat. They had gathered with other students who are part of Camp Joy El’s 4.12 Leadership Training Program. Jarrett (kneeling in front left of the photo) shared that he really wanted to read from his Bible every day, but he was struggling to make the time. 

After everyone shared, we prayed for each other and then I encouraged him to talk with another young man. You see, just a year and a half prior, the other young man had started to develop the daily practice of reading God’s Word.  I asked them if they would be willing to hold each other accountable, and to share a key verse from their reading with each other every day.  They excitedly agreed.

Since that time, every day, they have been sharing highlights from their daily Bible reading.

And when I read Jarret’s monthly report, he was excited to tell me, “I did it!”  He had made time with the Lord a priority each day and gained huge insights from God’s Word. 

Was it a hardship? Not at all – in-fact, Jarret shared: “Daily devos are a blessing!”

I truly believe spending time at a Christian retreat...


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