By Naemi Bätjer

The day has finally come!

It’s Thursday, and after days of preparation the air is now buzzing with excitement as more and more teens arrive with their suitcases and sleeping bags. Some trickle in one by one, while others travel to Offenburg in big busses from all over Europe. There are 13-year-olds that experience TeenStreet (TS) for the first time and others that have been coming year after year.

For Laura, it is the eighth TS. She is always excited about the opportunity to meet new people, to enjoy the community with people who share the same faith and to praise God together. One new friend she made a few years ago is Pommi from Sweden. When Pommi first came here, she just wanted to know what this event was all about that her friends were talking about. But then she met Laura and they became really good friends. Laura even visited her in Sweden and they met again at the Awaken Europe conference. 

Dario (16, Germany) and Friedrich (17, Germany) are here for the first time, but like Pommi, they have heard a lot about it. They say it’s “unfortunately” their first time. “It’s the last year we can be here as teens before we get too old,” Dario explains. They are already excited by the positive atmosphere here. Their first impression: “Awesome!” They are expecting “cool experiences with God” and “meeting international people.”

The three friends Samih (14), Helene (13) and Sarah (13) are from the UK. Helene is here for the first time, while Sarah’s been to TS since she was a little girl. Sarah says that it’s meeting new people and learning about their experiences with God that makes her keep coming back to TS. This year’s theme “unshakeable” means, “God won’t stop loving us!” Samih shared.

For Dario, “unshakeable” reminds him of God being a solid rock. He expects that through TS his faith will get stronger. Friedrich agrees with him: Unshakeable “means to be strong and confident in my faith.”  They hope that when they get home they will see a change in their lives that lasts even in normal everyday life. And who knows? Maybe they’ll be back as service team members next year.