This summer has been an exciting time for the Teen Ministry. With less than a month left for most students before they return to school, we recap some of the highlights of the 2017 summer.
Summer began in June with the LA Congregational Teen Summer Kick-Off with hundreds of students gathering in Panorama City from the Los Angeles, Inland Empire and Orange County areas to worship together, hear one of their peers preach the word of God, and enjoy great fellowship with one another. That was only the beginning.
Rounding out the month of June, this year’s Teen Camp titled “Sabotage” was launched at a new location, the Murrieta Hot Springs Conference Center. Leaving behind the cabins of Big Bear and entering the air conditioned lodges and luxurious hot springs, Teen Camp was more like Teen “Getaway” this year. The beauty and refreshing atmosphere however, did nothing to undermine the incredible experience of Teen Camp. Lessons addressed Satan’s attacks to sabotage God’s connection with us and his plans for our lives. We also learned that we in turn can sabotage Satan’s plans and choose to have a relationship with God. Teens had an amazing opportunity to connect with God throughout the week during quiet times by the hot springs, daily discussion groups, a moving worship concert and more!
Our summer has continued with over ten teens and parents participating in the HOPE worldwide volunteer signature service program, HOPE Youth Corps. Teens and families served communities throughout the world in Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago and Hungary. A Junior at El Toro High School, Amanda Nakano recounts her time in Dallas, “HYC was an experience that softened my heart completely as I was shown God’s love through the new relationships and connections I was able to make.” Mattias Franklin who served in Philadelphia concurs, “Youth Corps is life changing… You get closer to God, build relationships and serve with all you heart.” A two week volunteer service has created a lifetime of impact for those served and volunteers alike.
God has certainly used all these wonderful moments to draw our hearts near to him. A number of teens have chosen to engage in personal Bible studies to further learn about God. Last week we met at Inspiration Point to witness and celebrate Jayden Pinson’s decision to get baptized and make Jesus Lord of his life. Several were moved to tears by the love and power of God so clearly displayed in his life.
Please continue to pray for God’s influence in our OC Teen Ministry this summer and throughout the year.