Sierra del Mar youth councils draws 240



Delegates gathered in Big Bear Lake, Calif.

ByKrystina Macias

“Unexpected”: not expected or regarded as likely to happen; sudden; unforeseen. These words describe the Sierra del Mar youth councils, held at Pine Summit Camp in Big Bear Lake, Calif.

Over 240 delegates arrived for a weekend of surprises, starting with everyone singing and dancing to “Jesus is our God”—Gangnam style—and enjoying a random candy shower. “Surround the City” (STC), Southern California divisional praise team, performed at the meeting. Cari Trivonavich, speaker and performance artist, shared Friday evening how God has worked in his life. “The guy was amazing,” said Amauri Neres-Pereira from STC. “God struck me like lightning about the gifts he has given us and what we are doing with them.”

Saturday’s surprises began early, with tacos for breakfast and chicken and waffles for dinner, and a chapel Harlem Shake. Captain Roy Wild encouraged delegates to run back to the Father like the prodigal son did, embracing the overwhelming love that the Father has for his children.

Each meeting that day had an “X Spot,” where leaders recognized teens for their hard work, who then got to sit on the “spot” and eat lots of goodies!

Delegates could visit different stations that focused on unexpected love, hope and purpose, along with a “dangers of social media” session. The Saturday afternoon meeting included corps performances from Victor Valley and Oceanside, and special performances by Lt. Ace from the Compton Corps, Victor Cordero and Mahogany, who gracefully shared beautiful spoken word that led to the evening message from Lt. Colonel Edward Hill.

“Silent Chapel,” hosted by Lt. Jay Koebel, took place Saturday night. Sunday’s closing chapel involved the youth band and gospel choir, with guests from Southern California. Captain Lynn Stewart, divisional youth secretary, gave her testimony and a push of purpose reminding delegates of Jeremiah 29:11.

“The most unexpected part of youth councils for me was just how open the young people were to the presence of the Holy Spirit,” said Jude St. Aime from territorial headquarters. “The very first night we started playing the prelude, they stood up and just joined us in worship—there was no need for an invitation. It is wonderful to see young people get excited about worshipping the Lord and praising his name.”

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