Crescendo of Youth

Western youth are present and accounted for.

by Cari Arias –

Captain Joanne and Major Bob Louangamath congratulate Lieutenants Jennifer Hood and Bob Swain following the Service of Appointments. Hood and Swain were married days after Commissioning and will replace the Louangamaths as corps officers at the Santa Maria, Calif., corps. The Louangamaths are moving on to be divisional youth secretary and associate divisional youth secretary in the Cascade Division. [photo by Michael Habal]

Anyone who attended the various youth programs that took place during Commissioning weekend observed that the youth and young adults of the Western Territory are moving and growing.

Bible Bowl kicked off the weekend festivities with opening rounds on Thursday night at Crestmont. All ten divisions were represented; 18 matches took place over the course of the weekend. Using double-elimination brackets, teams tested their knowledge of 1 & 2 Corinthians on Thursday evening, all day Friday, and on into Saturday afternoon.

By Friday evening, one team—from Sierra del Mar—had played in every round. Round 7, held at the Cerritos Sheraton Saturday afternoon, showcased teenagers from the Anchorage Corps (Alaska) and the San Francisco Korean Corps (Golden State). San Francisco placed third while Anchorage went on to the championship round immediately following. In the end, San Francisco took second place and the Fort Collins Corps (Intermountain) claimed first place for the fifth year in a row.

Although “Bible Bowl” was what was inscribed on the official Commissioning schedule, much took place. Along with the territorial youth music groups, Service Corps teams were present and active, including a public send-off in the Saturday night meeting and a time of hands-on prayer during the young adult late night fellowship.

The late night fellowship focused on Nikole Lim’s film project—While Women Weep—which exposes the reality of victimized women in Africa. Before a capacity crowd, the showing not only revealed a need, but also raised money by the sale of jewelry made by African women, many who were victims themselves.

As a grand finale, the Territorial Youth Department held Sunday school classes for all ages. With over 150 in the age-specific classes, kids, teens, young adults and adults had the opportunity to dive deeper into God’s Word in small group settings. The young adult Sunday school class on holiness—taught by Territorial Youth Secretary Major Ivan Wild—was nearly standing room only.

The weekend—with its times of fun, fellowship and learning the Word—also challenged participants to live the life Jesus calls each one of us to…at every age.

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