It’s February, and that means DNOW at Mt. Bethel is right around the corner! Backpack Blessings is proud to announce that we will be a mission partner for this year’s youth retreat. DNOW is a dynamic weekend filled with high energy worship, inspiring messages, service projects, and fellowship open to all middle and high school students.
DNOW will be held the weekend of February 10-12, and this year’s theme is Realize: Included. Heard. Believed. Marked
The scripture focus for the weekend is Ephesians 1:13: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”
On Friday evening, more surprises await. The students arrive at their host homes and spend some time getting to know each other before leaving for their evening session, where they will meet their college leaders. While they are nervous at first, a bond is clearly forming by the time they return to their host homes. The remainder of the evening is spent discussing the keynote speaker’s message, eating plenty of snacks, and laughing well into the night!
Saturday is mission day. Yardwork, serving lunch at local parks, and light construction/cleaning projects are just a few examples of what the students have done during past DNOW retreats. Serving together as the hands and feet of Christ is a critical part of the weekend and will reinforce the scripture focus. Dinner is held at the host home, and then it’s time for another evening worship session at church. This is often an emotional time for the students, and they spend quite a bit of time unpacking what they have heard with their college leaders when they return to their host homes.
The weekend ends on Sunday with a powerful worship service and message for everyone involved in the DNOW weekend: students, parents, leaders, and host homes. This service has become a favorite for many at Mt. Bethel. It is impossible to leave this service the same way you entered. Seeing our young people in authentic worship is a moving experience that stays with you long after everyone has returned to work and school.
How is Backpack Blessings involved in the DNOW weekend?
Being a mission partner means that the students have the opportunity to bring donated items during the evening sessions. They learn about the mission partner throughout the weekend through speakers, videos, and personal testimonies. Students often feel called to ask their host homes to take them to the store to buy more items to donate throughout the weekend.
The students are being asked to bring the following specific items to support the Backpack Blessings mission:
These specific items are part of the larger bundle of nutritious food items that go into the blue backpacks each week. Decorated bins will be located at the entrance to the CAC for students to place their donated items. As the weekend progresses, it’s an amazing sight to see the bins fill up with donations. It’s a true testament to God’s love to see the students so willing to provide food items for the children at Fair Oaks Elementary.
We are very excited about this opportunity and ask that you pray for our DNOW students, host homes, volunteers, and everyone at Fair Oaks Elementary. Lives will be changed through this weekend, and we pray that God will move in powerful ways.