Most people think of YOKE as a middle school ministry. We consider ourselves a leadership development ministry as well, and the capstone of our training program is the winter leadership retreat. Nearly 100 staff, YOKE Folk, and volunteers met recently at Wafloy Mountain Village for the annual event.

​Our goals for the event are threefold: for our leaders to be refreshed, to foster a sense of community among our leaders, and for our leaders to learn, from the staff, from the speakers and from each other’s experiences. Judging by these criteria, the 2018 event was certainly a success. Here is what some of leaders had to say about the weekend:

PictureMegan Neubert

“​I really enjoyed getting to fellowship and grow closer to my fellow YOKE Folk. It’s really cool to have the chance to get to know one another and grow as a body of believers. My eyes were really opened by the statistics on sex trafficking in our area. It really made me think about how much our kids could be going through. Most of the time we don’t even know what’s going on at home. That is scary, but also a challenge for us to step up and really build those relationships with our kids.”

PictureJoshua Landon

“I most enjoyed the worship. It wasn’t because of a specific leader or anything of that nature; it really was just seeing and more importantly hearing everyone sing out to Lord. I got to experience what love and intentionality look like and, more importantly, experience the fruits that they bear.”

PictureHeather Story

“I most enjoyed the opportunity to mentor some amazing college students and the challenge we were given to live as sent ones. This was a great reminder that we really are following his will by digging in and spending time with our kids. Oh! And the skits! I laughed so hard that I cried at the YOKE Staff Meeting skit. I learned how to make coffee in a 60 cup percolator. I was amazed to learn how prevalent sex trafficking is and what signs to look out for.”

PictureRyan “Rhino” Hudson

“My favorite part of the weekend was the late nights playing Signs with the other leaders. This was because the room was filled with smiles from ear to ear. Everyone was laughing and enjoying each other’s company. One thing I learned this weekend is that God is a sending God. Not only should we be inviting others to church, but we should also be out among nonbelievers and making new disciples like it says in Matthew 28:18-20.”

PictureCrystal Robinson

“I liked being able to meet and interact with the other YOKE Folk. It was a nice way to get ready for clubs. We got some good tips about doing talks and leading songs and it was encouraging to know that we have the freedom to get creative when planning clubs!”