By Katie Derkach
“This Changes Everything” wasn’t just our theme, it sums up our 2018 Summer Youth Celebration in Alberta!
156 students (grades 7–12) and 75 leaders gathered at Sunset Point in Alberta Beach July 15–21 to experience Christ through worship, discipleship, community and adventure. Our theme “This Changes Everything” explored the transformative power of the Gospel with reference to 2 Corinthians 5:7. Students encountered how Jesus shifts our attitudes, revolutionizes our thoughts and reconstructs our words. They saw that when He comes into our lives, we are absolutely transformed and that things can never be the same with Jesus. He changes everything.
Not only did we bring everyone together for one week of camp, we added an extra day! Everyone arrived Sunday evening and went straight into the welcome rally featuring fun songs, silly games and time for us to forget about the distractions of home and focus on allowing the Holy Spirit to speak. While some students seemed unsure about all ages being together at the start of the week, by the end everyone was loving the time to connect with their entire youth group.
Starting the morning with time alone with God allowed students to not only focus but get into the habit of a morning devotion. Our morning celebrations featured silly songs along with upbeat worship and a message to get everyone energized for the day. Bible studies and track times allowed for fellowship and learning. Students faced off daily in a variety of games during rec to compete for the coveted trophy filled with candy.
Matt Rohlack and his band did a great job of leading our students in worship and our speaker, Tyler Graftaas, gave students lots to think about, challenging them to not only allow Jesus to work in our lives, but to let Him transform us to our very core.
Once again, we were blessed to have the mission team from Kingwood First Baptist in Kingwood, Texas. This energic group of leadership students and leaders led our Bible studies, track times and rec games, making time for our own leaders to participate in each activity. The kitchen crew did a fantastic job of cooking for the very large group in a small, hot kitchen.
The Holy Spirit definitely changed everything for some of our students, with 13 youth committing their lives to Christ and 38 rededications. It was clear to see that our students not only wanted Christ to change everything in their own lives, but in the lives of others. Our camp offering collected over $1,000 to support summer camps in Cuba, and over 165 kg of food was donated to the Food Bank.
Everyone left physically tired but spiritually refreshed after a full week in fellowship together. We can’t wait to see what God will do in the lives of our students as He continues to change everything.
To view a photo gallery of SYC, please visit our October 2018 Horizon.