During an action-packed weekend, nearly 300 students gathered September 29 to October 2, 2016, for the annual High School Bible Retreat at Camp Kulaqua, High Springs, Fla. Teens attended worships, participated in small groups, experienced solo/quiet time, learned from seminars, competed in a localized version of The Amazing Race™, mingled with an author and received a signed book, and performed community outreach/service.
On Sabbath afternoon, it was beautiful to watch young people reach out to the community of High Springs, where teams designed chalk art messages on city sidewalks to encourage people as they were passing by, baked cookies and delivered them to the local police station, and delivered helium-filled balloons and personalized cards to residents in the nursing home.
Something the students tried for the first time was to stand at stop lights and ask for money. The objective was to ask for cash donations benefitting Samaritan’s Purse, a nonprofit organization. What happened next was almost unbelievable. Armed with a good attitude, a collection container, and a feeling of the presence of an awesome God, several groups of students took the challenge to heart.
At the end of the afternoon, one group had raised $100. Another raised $40. The teens were super excited, and, collectively, they were able to look through the Samaritan’s Purse magazine where they chose to provide care packages for three orphans, blankets for six people, food for hungry babies, and emergency food.
These were Florida Conference young people asking God to bless their efforts as they made a difference in the lives of real people. Incredible things can happen when energy and innocence of young people is combined with the resources and experience of adults.
Please continue to pray for the young people, and, specifically, ask God to help you find ways to deploy/mobilize young people for service.
Florida | January 2017