We wanted to get to know each of the three key speakers at TeenStreet (TS) this year and what it's like to be on the programme team. Let us introduce you to Rachel.
Where are you from/living: (USA/France for 6.5 years)
How did you get connected with TS; how long have you been connected with TS? We met Ger [director of TS Europe] and Dominique [TS programme director] back in 2007/2008 when we were working in France. When Dominique asked us to be part of the programme team three years ago, we started talking with Josh and Debs, Dominique and Ron through Skype, just getting a feel for what it was about. The following year we started going through the teaching and being more involved in ‘Unshakeable’ (writing ‘The Big Adventures’ and being more involved with the teaching process). Last year was our first time at TS, and this year…
What was the highlight (‘wow’ or ‘aha’ moment) of the planning process?
At the March [planning] meeting, everyone was really encouraging, which was cool to see and have their support for this summer going forward. It was a confirmation that we’re moving in a good direction.
What are one or two things that 1) you want to take away from this week, and 2) you want the teens to take away from this week?
I hope that this week can be an encouragement for teens…not only to grow closer to God but to springboard/launch them further into their relationship with God or into a relationship with God for the first time…to grow deeper in Him [here], so that their walk at home is more faithful/closer to Him. We want to keep hearing stories of how a teen’s time at TS helped motivate them to keep growing, learning, maturing in their faith.
For me, I love to hear individual stories of what God did during the week, see how God answered prayer. I hope to hear stories like that because it’s fun to rejoice with people.
What does it mean for you to be part of the whole TS process?
What I like about TS is that it’s so many parts, so many volunteers and so many different aspects where God can/does work. We get to use our gifts, our passions in different ways, but He’s really the One doing it all. We each play our parts, and, together, He puts all these things together to make something beautiful.
The teens may forget a lot of what we say, but we set the framework for them before they walk away. God will work through that for the things they will remember: stories, testimonies, workshops, small groups, something they read, etc. I hope that we set the motion to help everything else come together.
What comes next for you?
We go home to France, breathe for a day, and go back to work. We’ll switch into church mode when we get back.
If you had a life motto, what would it be?
Live in a way that’s going to expand God’s kingdom, because that’s the best way to live for ourselves and others.