European YES [Youth Equipped to Stand] Retreat
is in its ninth year. It exists to gather
youth (14-17 year old) from Sword of the
Spirit communities and connected groups and to
provide a space where youth can meet God and
begin, or deepen, their relationship with him.
One of the fruits we are witnessing is a
growing and positive network of friendships
across communities that provide support for
the youth as they continue to walk with God.
We were delighted that this year 75 young
people from all across Europe, representing
all of our communities. Gdansk and
Bielsko-Biała (Poland), Leuven (Belgium),
London (England), Glasgow (Scotland), Belfast
(N.Ireland), Dublin (Ireland) and Munich
The theme this year was being ‘Called to
Adventure’. Our focus was Psalm 16 ‘You show
me the path of life, in your presence there is
fullness of joy.’ (Psalm 16:11)
We looked at Jesus’ call to ‘come and follow
me’ and how he issues that call to each one of
us. We want to hear this invitation and
courageously respond to the adventure he has
Additionally, we looked at how the Christian
life is a life of joy. Through workshops we
looked at our identity in Christ. Only Christ
is the true source of joy. Nothing else can
truly satisfy us. We want to be overwhelmingly
filled with the joy of the Gospel. Finally we
talked about being sent out on this adventure
of Christian life. We want to step out in
faith and wholeheartedly choose the life of
adventure to which Christ is inviting us.
It was a great retreat, God was at work and a
lot of fun was had by all.
At the last session some of
the youth shared what had been happening
over the weekend...
For me it [YES Retreat] was really seeing
that I can worship again. Often back home I
can lose sight of that and sometimes during
worship I am thinking of other things, I am
not actually thinking of God. And so coming
here I can just spend time during the
worship sessions and really just worship God
for who He is and praise Him.
Boy. London. 17 years old.
This is my third YES Retreat. I come here a
lot. But this year when I was praying in our
small groups I got a word from God for one
of the girls in my group. I have never
gotten a word from God before, I have never
felt like I have got anything from God
before. So that has been really amazing.
Girl. London, England. 15 years old.
The YES Retreat wasn’t really wasn’t what I
expected. This is my first year. The small
groups were a really good idea I got to make
such a great spiritual connection and new
friendships with everyone in my small group
which was really nice. I got meet so many
new people and have created so many new
relationships that I would never have
expected to create.
Girl. Belfast. 16 years old.
I didn’t know why I came. But yesterday
whilst praying in small groups God told me
“I know what you are doing here. I want to
change you and I want to do it right now."
The change is not like you are coming home
after the retreat and then you can change
your life and become a better man. But the
change is right now. You go as a changed
Boy. Bielsko-Biala. 16 years old.
This YES Retreat I came in with no
expectations. Last night during the prayer
ministry I just kept getting word and images
for different peers in the group. I felt God
saying “Look I am actually here, it is not
just people saying that to you” It was a
tangible thing that I would be able to keep
Boy. Glasgow. 17 years old
Retreat 2019 was hosted and organised by
Servant Trust on behalf of Kairos EME