13 Teenagers and 4 Adults went to LA a few weeks ago and learned what it means to “Broadcast” the good news of Jesus. They attended a youth conference called Unite West, a gathering of Covenant Churches up and down the West Coast from San Diego, CA to Scammon Bay, Alaska.
To “broadcast” in its original medieval form means “to sow by scattering.” Students and their leaders spent time reading and studying Jesus’ parables and the truths in them. They were challenged to let those seeds take root, grow, and bloom into acts of love for God’s Kingdom.
Take a look at their epic week. Then read how the week challenged them to broadcast God’s love.
God has been teaching me more about his unconditional love, and in turn that has taught me more about loving others as well as myself.
During this trip God really showed me the true message and outreach of his invitation to the Christian community. It showed me that no matter who you are, where you are in life or what you’ve done in the past that he loves you and he is willing to take care of you and take you in under his wing as long as you are willing to accept it and use that knowledge to spread his invitation to others.
God taught me a lot of forgiveness. In past years we’ve been taught that forgiveness just happens, it’s quick. But at this retreat I learned that forgiveness is a process. And you have to realize it’s not easy to forgive some people, but that God will help you along the path. Additionally, God is using me to reach out to people. I find that I have a new drive to volunteer as much as a can, and I love it.
God put lots of good people in my life and he taught me that it’s ok to ask for help and open up to people. He puts me in situations that I can learn from to strengthen my relationship with Him and use what I learned to help others. From mission trips to small community projects, God has used me and will continue use me to serve people in need and be his kingdom worker.
I’ve always grown up in a Christian environment. Going to church was normal for me. I have been through many ups and downs these past couple years and have struggled a lot more with my mental health. I go on so many youth trips where they talk about Jesus, but this was different. Each day we truly learned how Jesus works in each of our lives individually. We learned how important it is to be a kingdom worker in His kingdom. I try sharing the Good News because i’m not ashamed, but i do still get mocked about it. I try not to care, but it still can get to me. Circling back to my struggle with mental health, this week really brought to light and reiterated the power God has on my life. He can take away my worries, my stress, my pain, my sinful thoughts. All of it, every last piece is in His hands. My bad mental health is rooted in many things, but one of which is whom i surround myself with. It’s hard being a teenager who chooses to live a life focused on Jesus. I don’t feel tempted to want to drink or party or smoke and I know I won’t. That’s not the hard part for me. The hard part is finding the right crowd. I don’t know many Christians who truly act like they devote their life to Jesus. I know it’s hard and everyone has their own struggles, but the way people say they are Christian but don’t even try or put in effort is deceiving. At unite i was in actual awe. i’ve never seen so many people worship God like that. It was a special moment especially on Wednesday. The experience changed me for the better because I now see how God is working in not only my life, but the people around me.
This week showed me the power and potential of a new generation of Christ followers. So much y’all surrounds the younger generation about what they want, what they are like, and the choices they will make as they grow. My experience with the students was that they are naturally kind and create a welcoming sense of community for everyone. They are mature and respectful, while also being fun and energetic. They are vulnerable about the things in life that are holding them down, but are already wise enough to talk themselves through the steps of making things better. I have full confidence in their ability to be great examples of Jesus’ mission and love going forward, and eagerly wait to see the impact they make as they grow.