Nick Ortiz and I went to Triennium in July. For those who are unfamiliar with the event, Triennium is a youth conference during which Presbyterian high schoolers from all over the country and the world get together for a week of worship and fellowship at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. It’s an amazing experience that is sure to stay with me for the rest of my life. Every day we’d start off with a small group session, during which we met with our groups of forty in various rooms around campus. There we would read the passage for the day, discuss it with one another and do several activities that helped us understand the passage. Most of these activities required a large amount of creativity. For example, a portion of the small group and I made Vine, a 10-second video, of a modern Good Samaritan story, urging people to ‘Go and Do Likewise.’ A girl from Japan and I created a cornucopia of the world out of play-dough together to symbolize plentifulness in response to the Great Commission given to Moses by God.
After the small group session we would meet with our delegation and further discuss the passage. Then we’d eat lunch and head off to worship. Praising God with 5,000 other people is truly a full-body experience: hearing the voices, feeling the energy, singing, and dancing. The speakers were all fantastic. They spoke on topics relative to teen life: ignoring stereotypes, finding identity, loving God despite the interests of the world vying for attention. One of the lessons we were taught is that God is a FUN God: a forgiving, understanding, and never-to-busy God. Another lesson is that if there’s negativity in your life it’s ‘Gotta Go’ in order to be able to pursue a fulfilling relationship with God. Then we’d go to dinner and be released to recreation time. Here we could take part in a number of activities on the lawn, such as making origami hearts with thank-you notes inside them, covering a hate wall with strips of love, a late night dance party, and a service project that made shoes out of old jeans for children in Africa. All of these things plus all of the loving, wonderful people we met really made Triennium a week to remember. The memories we made there will never leave us. I feel truly blessed that I was able to go for a second time and I thank you all for the love and support you gave in helping us get there.