We have been working hard over the last several months to plan our first conference focused specifically on teenagers. It was a new experience for all of us, and each volunteer poured so much time and energy into making it a huge success. Twenty-two churches were involved in the process, and together they sent over one hundred participants and sixty volunteers.
This event came out of a great need that we saw in our community – teenagers were not getting the specialized guidance and mentoring that they desperately needed to help them move forward in their lives. After a lot of prayer, we realized that they needed their own event tailored specifically to them. They needed to see that followers of Christ can, and need to, exist in every walk of life, to reach as many people with the Gospel as possible. We brought in speakers with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to help demonstrate this point, and it really hit home with all in attendance.
Here are some testimonies:
“Hello, my name is David* and I am seventeen years old. I want to say thank you to all the people, who worked on and helped with this festival, because the message was exactly what I needed to hear. I had a lot of questions about where I should go and how I should live, and at the festival I met a lot of true believers who follow Jesus in every area of their life. They were able to speak into my life and provide the guidance that I had been missing in my faith for quite some time. Through this festival, God helped me to understand what I was called to do.”
“Hello, my name is Elmira*, and I was a volunteer at the event. Camp Adonai asked me to house three boys that attended, because they live far from city. During the conference, two of them accepted Christ. They told me that they chose to follow Jesus because they have seen the way their peers live without God in their lives. With God, they love people that they don’t know, and they can serve those people by showing them God’s love.”
“Hello, my name is Aika* and I am fourteen. When we divided into workshops, I went to one dedicated to social work. I was the only one who was interested in this area, but through this short workshop I now understand what it looks like to dedicate my life to serving God in this area. The speaker didn’t read me a lecture or some theory, but instead took me on a practical visit to see this work in action. We went to one house where I met a boy my age. His mother and grandmother were disabled, and he was the only one in the house able to work to support them. Before this, every time people in poverty or sickness, I prayed for them. Through this experience, though, I see now that social work is not a one-time action – it is being able to see needs of the people, thinking of ways to help them, and following through for as long as it takes.”
These are only a few testimonies from the event, but through them we can see that God is clearly working in teenagers’ hearts, and we believe that seeds were planted that will continue growing for a long time.
We have finished our summer season, but we will continue to work thanks to our dear partners. Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue this work. We thank God that he is helping us through you. We are now starting to plan for the upcoming year and future curriculum, so please pray for us. Please pray for our hearts to serve God and to see the other needs of teenagers that we might be able to meet. We know that many lives were touched through this conference, and we want to be diligent in our follow up, so that none of these lives are ignored.
*Faces have been blurred for security reasons