Jul
27

National LCMC Youth Gathering

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WOW…WOW…WOW!!! The first “National LCMC Youth Gathering” ever, was held in Des Moines, July 19-22, 2016, and was a great success. We sent seven youth: Lance Ely, Bethany Frey, Maddy and Mandy Kirking, Lexie Newman, Kaitlyn Seher, and Luke Snyders, along with two adult chaperones, Randy Pooley and Jennifer Murray, for the road trip in a 12-passenger van. I flew back and met up with our crew there. The theme was “Called 2 Serve” and the worship services around this theme were filled with blessings. We had the craziest and most gifted speakers. And we had the most uplifting and inspiring Worship and Music Team and song leaders. They were funny, they were humble, and God touched us with His Spirit through them. Our youth “got it!!” Our adults “got it!” I truly believe that each person brought back something that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. First day was about being “called.” The second day was about “to, too, 2.” I caught on to the direction that the speakers were going with the theme, but most of the group didn’t (I was pretty smug about it!). The third day was about “serving.”

Maddy Kirking went to a breakout session on “What is Truth.” She wants to teach the world about it now!!  We are looking for ways to do that! Kaitlyn Seher went to one on “What is Love” and realized that today’s young people don’t really know what that word means. It’s not about our need and selfishness.  It is about choosing to serve others, whether in relationship or community.

When I asked for a paragraph from some of the kids, this is what I was given. Luke Snyders wrote, “Jeremiah 33:3 states, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” I believe that Jesus has called me, along with the rest of the youth group, to go to Des Moines, meet new people and grow relationships through God. 2 Corinthians states, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the know ledge of Him in every place.” I have been blessed to have Christ manifest in me even more through this wonderful experience. I pray that knowledge of Him would follow me back to North Idaho and to every other adventure He has planned for me.”

Bethany Frey shared, “My experience at the National LCMC Youth Gathering was amazing. I enjoyed the environment and being able to hang out with fellow believers. In the time we were there, we worshipped together six times. These worship times would consist of praise songs, keynote speakers, and sermons. During our time here we were sent out to do the service projects we had signed up for. I had signed up for Riverside Bible Camp, where my group and I (along with 100 other LCMC youth), helped with the overwhelming maintenance that was needed at this camp. I was in the group that weeded the volleyball court (Pastor Gail adds this comment: It was in the full sun with a heat index of 115 degrees! We used caution with lots of hydration and breaks in the shade!). Serving has brought me closer to God and to those around me. I met many new kids that I hope to maintain friendships with. This was truly an amazing experience.”

I watched Mandy Kirking, Lexie Newman, and Bethany Frey surround hurting kids and pray with them. They held these youth in their arms and loved on them. I saw Lance Ely and Luke Snyders making friends with strangers and finding common ground in Christ.

Our seven young people understand that they were not chosen to go to Des Moines because they are “chosen!” but because they are called to be blessings to all those around them. They have been sent out now! They have a huge responsibility to be the hands and feet of Christ to “their neighbor.” And who is their neighbor? It is the ones who live at home with them. It is the ones who they traveled in the van with. It is their school friends. It is the ones that God will put in their path. It is the hurting and the struggling and the lonesome. They get it! “What you do for the least of these, you do for Me!”

They are called…two by two…to serve! AND SO ARE WE!! – Pastor Gail

~Not to Be Missed~ July 31 – Called 2 Serve presentation by the Youth!