Every year the Juniors and Seniors take a week-long retreat that they call Lion’s Week. This trip has always played a major role in the development of the life-long friendships that TDA is so well-known for. This year the Juniors and Seniors stayed at a retreat center in Buena Vista, Colorado. During the trip, the students spend time with people they might not normally spend time with, resulting in many unlikely, but wonderful friendships. Together they climbed mountains, went ziplining, explored the tourist towns, celebrated three birthdays, and made some amazing memories together.

The following are a few thoughts from the students about their trip.

Jonathan Fraser, Senior

Nothing leading up to Lions Week excited me, except the idea of a break from schoolwork. I expected it was going to be a hassle, a long seven days, and overall a stale experience. Now I would say, it was one of the best memories of my life. From barely breathing after a six hour long hike to screaming with the crowd gathered around the foosball table, everything felt unified, natural, and undeniably fun. The atmosphere was saturated in joy, and so many new, unexpected friendships were forged; God was in the middle of everything we did.

 I’m graduating soon, and I needed something like Lions Week to carry with me. I’ve never felt more connected with my peers. I hate the idea of graduating, leaving them so soon, but now I am ready to make the remaining four weeks I have left at TDA into something special and entirely unforgettable.

E-O Diener, Junior

For me, the  biggest take away/highlight was hanging out with the other guys. Whether it was having a 3 hour long conversation about God or hiking up a mountain with one my closest friends. I was able to learn a lot, not only about my friends, but also about how we are all on a journey together in pursuit of the Lord. We thrive, learn, and grow based on interactions and experiences we have with each other. I also learned that as godly friends, we are to encourage one another in the Lord and live in accountability and honor. This trip goes down as one of the best times and experiences I’ve had. So glad I was able to go!

Shayna Rebbavarapu, Junior

Lions week was an unforgettable experience to say the least. Each moment was spent in laughter. Community service was a blast. My highlight of the week was getting to bond with each and every person in the class, and I also loved playing knockout.

Faith Kim, Senior
God’s hand was on us all of Lions Week. The trip was beautiful in itself. The mountains, the breeze, the beginning of new and stronger friendships, and the voice of God becoming more and more clear to us. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. If I could, I would do it all over again.