The first day of WYI nerves can sometimes be like the first day of school. Who’s going to be in your cabin? Is your friend from last year there? Is a friend from division in your cabin? What should I expect? What do they expect from me? Where did that FB post say I should go to check in?
In hopes of easing some of your nerves, Aleen Bradley, a former cabin mentor shares about her experience as a cabin mentor.
“When I think about WYI with my cabin, sometimes I think about making a team flag for the WYI Olympics, which effectively dubbed our squad as the Steel Magnolias (#squadgoals, ya’ll). Or, I think about watching people eat/eating spoonfuls of peanut butter followed by handfuls of pie, followed by huge bites of raw onion, against the clock. Or, I think about dominating at Clash of the Clans, or synchronized ballet dancing to Adele’s Someone Like You, complete with dancing unicorn. But, more often, I marvel and I thank God for the moments when I have been pulled aside to talk, to listen and to pray with someone struggling, when I have enjoyed a “family meal” with all my cabin…when I have seen them overcome challenges, explode with creativity and with love, worship the Lord, and speak about him and his Word with passion. I think about the mere days it takes to see relationships strengthened, friendships formed and lives changed, right up close, as we care for each other, work together, and love on each other in some beautiful ways. As a cabin mentor, there is only so much that I can put into this experience, but the women in my cabin have always made this week together one of the most meaningful, life-giving times of sharing, encouragement, learning, fun and worship of the entire year for me. ”
Captain Jennifer Masango (DYS from the Cascade Division) recounts her first time to WYI as well.
“Did you ever think your life can change in 5 short days? I have had the privilege of experiencing this as well as witnessing it in others. I have been to WYI only once, but what an incredible week it was. I saw chains of bondage break when a delegate surrendered her hurt and suicidal thoughts to Jesus. What freedom there is in Christ! I saw the quiet delegate step up and participate in a dance off. The opportunity to walk with someone who was so insecure in himself but found friends who became an extra support. WYI is a week where you are truly set apart and quiet before God to allow him to work in your life. If given the opportunity, I would encourage everyone to attend WYI and allow God to work in their lives. He is faithful. He loves us and wants a deeper relationship with Him. Come and experience 5 days that will impact you for eternity!”
Ultimately, you may find yourself in a couple awkward moments when you first meet a person and try to shake their hand that’s already full of everything. Once you laugh it off, you will likely find yourself a family that is in the same place you are – nervous, but really desiring a companionship, guidance, and support. A couple hours in, those first day jitters will be long forgotten.