Set-up Week: TeenStreet 2018

Hannah Rueber

TeenStreet (TS) may not have officially started yet, but the site is already busy with all of the preparations that will bring TS to life. Set-up week is far more than a practical work week of building, painting, lining up countless tables and installing the rigging for lights and sound equipment. For each service team member, it’s a time of personal preparation and connection with the ministry that will forever impact their summer.

Lexi (22, USA) is working her first TS as part of the Global Village team. “I served with OM [in] Italy five years ago, and more recently I was on the Riverboat. TS was always the summer conference that everyone talked about. When I heard that around 25 Riverboat people were coming to TS this year, I thought, ‘If there was a year that I’d go to TS, this would be it.’ So here I am.

“Being here for Set-up Week,” she said, “and helping set up is neat because, once TS starts, you can go through Global Village and see the pieces that you built. It gives you more of a connection to TS and Global Village because you were there putting it together. It also brings everyone together as a group because everyone has their pieces, and the pieces fit together to make Global Village.”

Returning for his second year as a coach, Tom (21, Ireland) also sees the value of Set-up Week. “I like coming early to meet the people who are going to be working at TS and making it all happen. It’s also a great chance to pray for the venue, that everything would run smoothly. This is one of the biggest opportunities to come alongside teens in Europe and build them up in their relationship with God. That’s why I come.”

Aaron (20, International) has been attending TS for the past 15 years. His parents were home office representatives, so he usually was onsite for Set-up Week (even when he participated as a teen). This year, he’s serving as a home office representative for international teens. “Without this [set-up] week, it would all be a mess. There’d be no fun seminars to attend, nowhere to eat or drink, nowhere to have meetings or workshops. It’s cool to see it all come together. TS is my home. It’s where I’ve grown up. It’s where I want to stay.”

Set-up Week concludes today, but all the service teams will be spending a day together tomorrow, 27 July, getting to know their teams and finishing final preparations for the teens’ arrival on Saturday. Stay tuned to the TeenStreet Facebook, Instagram, and website pages for ongoing photos, stories and live videos from TeenStreet 2018: Closer!