Hello Everybody! I am back from TeenPact. It was a wonderful experience! My Mom, and brothers: Jeremiah, Jonathan, and I, stayed at an Inn from Monday- Thursday. Let me quickly mention though, I have been to Teen Pact before to watch the students, so I had an idea of what to expect as a “first timer”. There are two groups of students in TeenPact.
1. The First Timers
2. Alumni Students
My 15 year old brother, Jeremiah, was an Alumni student, and my 13 year old brother, Jonathan and I, were “first timers”.
What an amazing week! From prayer and worship, to mock legislature, to great discussion and debate, it all was such a great experience.
To give you an idea of what it was like, I’ll give you a quick recap on the week:
We arrived around lunch time on Monday and registered. We then began the first day of TeenPact 2010.
Tuesday, and Wednesday we go to the Land Office at 8:40 AM and began at 8:45. We had some praise and worship, and a devotion. The Teen Pact staff broke us up into committees. Each committee had two committee leaders
and a committee name. Our name was the “BIC committee. (It stood for business and incorporation) All the
staff were amazing, and the ages ranged between 15 up to 21. My two committee leaders were: Rachel and
Ben. (R: 18 years old, and B: 16 years old) They both did an excellent job, and I am so greatful to both of them as my committee leaders!
Our different committees split up and went to different places around the capital up in Santa Fe, and prayed for the people there. The first day, for example, we stood by Governor Richardson’s office and prayed for him specifically. We were all to make sure to show respect as we prayed, and stay out of other peoples’ way. We came back to the class, had what was called a “daily briefing” and then we went off in different committees for a “Field Experience”. There are four different field experiences that we went to. Two on Tuesday and Two on Wednesday. On one of these trips our committee was divided into groups of three, and we had the opportunity to interview lobbyists, and on the others we learned things such as Media Analysis. After our first field experience of the day we went to eat lunch and during lunch we discussed different bills that had been written by the people in the class, and voted on whether to kill or pass that specific bill. After lunch, we walked back to the class room, and had student elections, field experience No. 2, and a guest speaker. (Usually a Senator or Representative) We then had TeenPact legislature (It was mock legislature on the bills that the different committees passed over lunch) and then a quiz. At about 3:00 PM, we adjourned.
Thursday afternoon was graduation for all the students. I was sad that the week of TeenPact was already over;(It went by so fast!) But I was very happy to see Dad and the rest of my siblings again.
Bill Jack was our Guest director and he teaches Christian world view classes. (Worldview Academy) He did an amazing job! You can visit the Worldview site here. Some of the things mentioned here were taught by Bill Jack in the evening sessions of Teen Pact. The evening sessions were optional, but they were a huge part of the week and something you won’t want to miss if you attend the Teen Pact class.
Here are "a few" of the many things that I learned in the class:
1. Go out and get involved with your Senator’s, Representatives, Governors’ and so forth. Don’t stand back and do nothing. You don’t have to be a certain age to be involved, just get out there and do it!
2. When you are speaking with someone who opposes your view, ask good questions that continually drive them back to a better conclusion. The four “Killer Questions” to ask are:
a. What do you mean by _______________?
b. How do you know that to be true?
c. What difference does it make?
d. What if you are wrong?
4. Take the offensive rather than taking offence.
5. Our senator’s and Representatives like getting our input and letters. Just keep it short or they might not read it!
6. Be a light shining in a dark world. Stand out for the right reasons. Don’t be afraid to go out and tell others about Christ, be ready to stand up for your faith. Don’t settle for “That is what you believe, this is what I believe.” Ask good questions that drive your point and don’t give up or think that everything you say will bring people down to their knees. They won’t always (usually not) be converted right away, you are just the tool working for Christ to prod them to think. (We should work as a crow bar not a sledge hammer!)
7. Our questions that we ask of unbelievers, Fellow believers, Representatives, Senators, different speakers and so forth should encourage the individual to think!
8. And of course, I leaned a lot about our system of government, particularly in the state of New Mexico, and have learned things that I will keep for a life time.
9. Pray for your Senator's, Representatives, and politiclal leaders. We went to the state capital and prayed there. The student's were praying every day leading up to Teen Pact, it is a good thing to practice. They need our prayers!
10. Then, there is a host of other things I learned and participated in that I will keep a surprise so you can experience it for yourself!
This is just a little bit of what went on in the seemingly short week that I attended TeenPact. I highly encourage you all to look up this TeenPact website and find the closest class in your area. It will be one of the best weeks of your life and you will learn so much that is relevant and needy in our culture today and from a biblical perspective. Here is the link: TeenPact Official Site. Please check it out!!
What do you think are some ways that you , as a young adult, can get involved with our government?
I'll be posting a few pictures soon.
I hope you all are having a great week. God Bless,