Here is a brief report concerning the West Coast (South) College Training that we had last week at Big Bear.
1) By my count we had 117 check in, including 83 students and including the 3 brothers who spoke our evening line messages. According to our survey, of the students 17 were incoming freshmen, 17 were rising sophomores, and 24 were rising juniors. We had 9 trainees and 24 serving ones as well. I felt the ratio of serving ones to students was good; a few more serving ones would have been even better.
2) Overall, the Lord blessed the time. We had a solid beginning and continued picking up momentum throughout the week. The atmosphere was sanctified and focused on the Lord. The coordination among the serving ones was strong. It was a tremendous blessing to coordinate with the saints at Engedi and have them praying for/with us in addition to serving us with great food!
3) 81 of our 83 students took our survey at the end. Here are some interesting stats that show the highlights of the training:
a) 37 (i.e. almost half) were at their first college training; 19 more had been to the college training once before. 63, however, came into the church life before high school.
b) 64 felt that having our cell phone policy (i.e. keeping your phone on airplane mode at all times except during rec time) was helpful.
c) The students rated 12 different aspects of the college training (except for the messages themselves) on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best). The highest rated activities w/ their average scores were (1) 2’s and 3’s, 4.53 (2) personal time with the Lord in the morning, 4.49 (3) Groups, 4.45 (4) Fellowship on FTTA, 4.41, and (5) Having the students share the message on Fridaymorning, 4.22.
d) 37 have completed reading the New Testament
e) What students appreciated most about Engedi (vs Occidental): more intimate blending and being able to participate more. They didn’t consider the lower price, closer location, or other factors as important.
f) For 40 students who had been to Alliance Redwoods before, we had them compare their experience: 83% of them felt the spiritual atmosphere and digestion of the messages was the same or better at Engedi than at Occidental; a strong majority of the students felt that the blending, the participation, the food, and the housing facilities were better at Engedi than at Occidental; most felt that the recreation facilities were better at Occidental.
g) It doesn’t seem like we have a culture of listening to audio messages or watching spiritual videos in general among the students.
h) About half the students have never shared about the Lord via any form of social media. 72 of the students regularly use Facbook. The next closest social media was Instagram with 36 who regularly use it.
4) Having brother Minoru share with us at the end was a great conclusion. The transmission was very smooth with no glitches!
5) Lessons learned: we used some off-camp housing and had some challenges b/c of that; many more students wanted T-shirts than actually ordered them; many didn’t like the “easy” hike on Thursday.
6) It seemed like the students were a little more stressed out because there was a higher possibility of getting tested more frequently. We had 15 groups and tested 2 groups during each message.
7) It seemed like having the students share the meeting on Fri morning (message on “The Blood”) was awesome!! We had 2 groups come together to form a cluster. We also divided the points up for each group and each student would prepare a point to share for 2 minutes. They prepared on Thursdaytogether in their group and in their 2/3’s. Then we gave them 30-45 minutes Fri morning to speak in their clusters. The students really surprised themselves at how much they were able to speak.