2020 will forever be known as the “year of cancelled.” So many things were cancelled last year, and I’m not referring to Mr. Potato Head or Aunt Jemima. Vacations were cancelled. Church services were cancelled. Graduations were cancelled. Going outside was cancelled. Much of our normal activities were cancelled. As a youth minister, it made for an interesting and difficult summer. We didn’t have youth camp, or a mission trip, or a lot of other normal youth group events. We tried to get creative and around every turn, with every plan, we would have to make that fateful announcement: cancelled!
With our fingers crossed and (more so) our trust in Jesus, we are pushing ahead with the hopes of a normal summer for 2021. It has been so encouraging to see how God has worked in the life of EFC Oroville, in all of its ministries, but especially for our students. As we have slowly worked our way back to a sense of normalcy, I have seen the countenance and attitude of our youth uplifted. So, I want to encourage you to pray for our students and the events that we have planned. Pray that they won’t get…well, you know. Pray that, through these events, students would grow in their relationship with Christ, and with each other. Here are some of the events we have planned, and how you can pray.
Paradise Mission Trip
It’s been almost 3 years since the Camp Fire and there is still a lot of work to do up on the ridge. This summer our mission team of students and adults will be partnering with Paradise EFC to help with minor construction and rebuilding needs in their community, as well as helping to build relationships with their neighbors. What might start as an offer to help build a fence or put up some drywall, could turn into a conversation about Jesus.
We will be spending a week, June 13-18, staying at Paradise EFC and working within the community, doing light construction, yard work, and prayer-walking through neighborhoods. While there is a need to restore homes, the purpose of this trip is to introduce people to the salvation that can only be found in a restored relationship with Christ.
Here are some ways you can be praying for this trip:
- Prayer Needs
o Adult leaders who can volunteer their time to go on the trip
o Relationships between students and adult leaders
o Opportunities to share about Jesus
o Boldness in our testimonies
o Safety while working
o Spiritual growth for Paradise EFC
We will be returning to Hartstone Bible Camp on June 25-27 for Youth Camp. Hartstone has been near and dear to our hearts ever since we started going there in 2017. The students love the activities, the worship services, the small groups, the food, and the time to just get away. This year, we will be joined by Lucas Pettee, a young man from Santa Clarita and his worship team. Lucas comes highly recommended and we are excited to have him come and lead us in worship. Pastor Brian will be doing the teaching for the large group time and our chaperones will be leading the small group time.
- Prayer needs
o Spiritual growth for our students
o Unity among our students
o Leaders as they teach and build relationships
o Lucas Pettee and the worship team
o Safety for travels
o All preparation to come together
While the summer internship didn’t get cancelled last year, we did have to get creative for ways for our intern to help since so many of our activities did. It still turned out to be a great experience for our students, and we are hoping this year will be no exception. We are hoping to have a couple of interns this summer, but that remains to be seen. Regardless, there will be plenty of work and opportunities for ministry. The intern(s) will be helping with the events mentioned above, as well as helping with our regular youth activities and leading weekly bible studies. They will also be helping with VBS and other church ministries.
- Prayer needs
o Spiritual growth for our intern(s)
o Opportunities for discipleship
o Opportunities to step out of their comfort zone
Thank you for your support of our Student Ministries and for your prayers! I look forward to giving a report on all the events of this summer later this year!
Soli deo gloria,