When the going gets tough


Kinsley Lively, News Editor

Slipping in the mud, eating warm sardines, and re-enacting stories are all part of what the GO team members participate in during the GO retreat. Preparing for serving in a different country can be difficult, but they spent half their weekend working with their other teammates through a variety of challenges.

“I am excited for it (the GO retreat), but I have no idea what to expect,” said Andrew Darrow, a GO Leader for Team Cambodia. “When comforts are stripped away, we’ll see what’s still there. For me, and also for my team, we’ll see how everyone responds to that.”

The GO Retreat was on campus this year, where each individual team found an authentic, ethnic restaurant. After, they went to a grocery store to buy specific foods they were assigned– Ecuadorian, Cambodian, English, or Indian. To build trust, all the leaders were blindfolded while the team members found the food in the store.

The teams slept in two different classrooms above the Bible department. At around 3 a.m., everyone was woken up and moved to a different classroom.

Referring to the team members’ sudden awakening, Briana Castrejon, a GO leader on the Ecuador trip, said, “It was more of an attitude test. They just wanted to see our heart response to that.”

In the morning, they went on a hike to Open Space, a large space with a few hiking trails, about four miles longOn the hike, they all had to hold onto a rope without letting go. Castrejon added that some of the teammates fell in the mud, due to the rainy weather.

“Hiking was the most difficult for me because I hadn’t done it in so long and I was hungry, but couldn’t complain,” Castrejon said. “As a leader, it’s a little different for me because I have to set an example, but the Lord taught me I just had to push through.

During the hike, there were three different posts, each having something for each team to participate in. According to Darrow, the first post involved reading a “fairytale” from the country each team is going to. After reading, the team had to re-enact the story to the other teams. At the second post, they needed to create a VBS plan and designate jobs for each person.

The Lord’s really preparing us as a group,” Castrejon said. “It was more of a bonding time. We really got to know everyone on the team to see if we’re compatible.”

At the last post, they regrouped and ate, according to Castrejon, really gross food as part of the retreat. They had to eat without complaining, food such as beets and sardines. After the hike, they needed to make breakfast with a small tray and the food they had.

“The GO retreat was a neat opportunity to put aside homework, technology, and everything else to just focus on bonding with our teams,” Esther Kuiper, a member on the London GO team, said. “Learning our team members’ personalities was a significant way the GO retreat began to prepare our team to work together.”