Recap of ‘Reformed’: The Highlights of Euroventure
My first experience at Euroventure was this summer, and it was unforgettable! I’ve always loved leading youth retreats and camps, but somehow Euroventure seemed…bigger.
This spring, my students from Rome International Church replayed story after story of memories from Euroventure. They were like kids on Christmas Eve, eager to reunite with friends from years past. Their excitement amped up my interest, and their conversations drew me in.
It’s funny because Euroventure is only one word: it’s one week of camp once a year with one central theme. Yet it means the world to these students! The main focus this year was Reform. Perhaps the most stunning element of reform I observed in the students was the genuine love and grace of the Lord evident in their words and actions.
There were a few students who had mild social disabilities, and a small handful who were just painfully shy or didn’t know another soul at Euroventure. I wondered if most of the students would even notice this minor population. Would the teens pull them into their conversations or turn a cold shoulder? I was curious if they would invite them to activities or to sit with their group at lunch. We all know how easy it is to simply find our group of friends and ignore the rest….
But these kids exemplified our Savior. Jesus ate with the social outcasts, and so did our students. I could literally see the joy overflowing from the welcomed ones because they were included, valued, and loved!
Others were battling extensive and unimaginable troubles: self-harm, suicide, depression, anxiety, death of a loved one, guilt, shame…the list could continue. Others were debating whether God really exists. Some considered Jesus un-cool. And others didn’t want to relinquish their control over their life.
We live in a broken, fallen, hurting world. Yet time and time again the teenagers chose love, grace, and humility in order to help another.
I personally observed these young adults respond like Jesus:
- A middle school girl was crying because she missed her mom and felt anxious. So her friends dried her tears and hugged her every single day.
- A high school girl shared shameful actions from her past. As she unearthed them, they were met by her friends like the gentle warmth of sun instead of a judgmental thunderstorm.
- A boy expressed doubts about salvation. Instead of discipline or disgust, the guys around him greeted his comments with understanding and intentional conversations.
- A high schooler recognized the muck in her heart and didn’t like the way she treated the people that she loves. She was embraced by her peers and recognized that she’s not alone. They reminded her that we all have to climb out of the muck in our hearts.
- A middle schooler began to cry due to frustration. Instead of avoidance, the other students asked what was wrong and how a peaceful solution could be reached. And they actually followed through instead of just offering shallow concern in the moment.
- Rather than pretending to have all of the answers during Bible study, one student asked questions and desired to learn more about God’s Word. The remaining students of the small group followed suit since the stage was set with humility.
- Kids chose to attend Track Times (topical studies) based on their interests and not where their friends were (or the popular girl or the cute boy).
- Instead of being sore losers, so many students cheered on the winning teams. (This is a BIG deal because Euroventure kids are serious competitors!)
- And I never went to bed before 12:30a.m. because the girls in my room wanted to engage in amazingly deep conversations about life and God and relationships. (But shhh, don’t tell on us! Lights out was supposed to be at 11:00p.m. …)
I left camp reflecting on how good our God is and encouraged at how He is exemplified in the youth of our churches.
Euroventure may be only one week, but the Holy Spirit flooded our presence and lives were changed. Thirty-two students accepted Christ, and numerous others grew more intimate with our Savior. Reform began to take root in the hearts of those teenagers, and the fruit was already being produced!
Please join us in prayer that the 185 students who attended Euroventure 2017 are still being reformed today, and that they will continue to show God’s love and grace to those around them.
Jana Aplin, Rome, Italy
This camp is the most AMAZING and best camp that I have ever even heard of! It is where I truly understood what it means to be Christlike. I also had my rebirth here. No words can express how much this camp is the best, it is soooo powerful and the beauty of the nature only adds to that. Also the preacher(s) here are some of the only preachers that make it interesting, useful, and fun at the same time. I rate this camp infinity out of ten.Kevin Dulanto-Hausenstein
Year after year I look forward to Euroventure. Euroventure is more than a camp but a place you build life-long relationships with people across the globe in Christ.Ellie Ward
Euroventure is a happy and fun spirited place where Christians can come and fellowship together near the Swiss Alps.Alondra Oquendo
It’s lit. The Lord moves in everyone. The camp is one of the best camps ever.Anonymous
This is the most amazing place. So touching. If you do not already know Christ, Euroventure will bring you to His Word!Eli Pontiff
This camp is the best camp. This camp goes for 4 full days and 5 nights. The Holy Spirit lives in this camp. Every single camp about 20+ people give their life up to Jesus. It is the most inspirational and emotional camp ever. Tom and Zac, the two best preachers ever, bring more than half of the camp to tears. The sponsors are amazing. They all have words of wisdom. They are there when you need them. They will spend their time to pray with you. Also throughout this camp all Christians’ faith will be strengthened. It is always interesting to listen to. All of the students there will support you. You will find that you will start to do things that you used to not do. The band is also incredible. They pick the best out of the best out of the best songs to sing. They make you clap along, swing your hands up to God and sing praises to Him.
Everybody is separated into teams; there are dance offs, eat offs, cheers, flags, competitions and much more. And then there is the kitchen. Every team gets K.D. (Kitchen Duty) once. It is fun and energetic. The food is great. There is also rec events where you get to do swimming, hiking, ropes course, canyoning, shopping, ice skating, tobogganing, sleep, and much more.
In conclusion, this camp is the most awesome camp ever. Everybody is supportive.Kevin Dulanto-Hausenstein
My favorite part of Euroventure is always seeing God move in the lives of my students. I’m fed and learn just as much as them and love the relationship I’m able to build.Nikki Kennemer, Sponsor