Southwest youth rally ‘takes flight’

Children and youth leaders gather from throughout Arizona.

by Rachel Utrera – 

Balloons are released during the recent youth rally.

Up, up and away! Two hundred and eighteen balloons drifted heavenward at the Phoenix Youth Rally, representing the children and youth leaders in attendance—a symbolic sign that we wanted to allow God to take to us to new heights in our faith.

Girl Guards, Sunbeams, Adventure Corps and junior soldiers from all over Arizona arrived for our “Taking Flight” Rally, complete with uniform inspection, paper airplane designing and, of course, a paper airplane contest/air show.

Troops arrived armed with the Word of God, having memorized the theme scripture verse for the day: “For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” (Psalm 108:4)

Special guest judges came for the annual uniform inspection, from both divisional headquarters and territorial headquarters: Capt. Stephanie Laborte, Capt. Adam Morales, and Marcela Tippol. The competition proved fierce, and when the points were totaled, Phoenix Citadel Corps swept the girls’ competition, taking 1st place for both Guards and Sunbeams, while the Tempe Corps took 1st place for the Adventure Corps.

The day was full of fun, with prizes for leaders and children alike. One lucky boy and girl went home with brand new bikes. Names of the corps that turned in all their reports for the year went into a drawing to win a portable basketball hoop as a reward for their faithful reporting; the Chandler Corps took home the prize this year.

Captain Bill Dickinson gave the spiritual challenge for the day—to trust God and allow your faith to soar. Young people made decisions to trust God and to allow him control in their lives. The event ended at the Kiwanis Park Wave Pool, where we splashed the afternoon away.

Two other youth rallies took place in Albuquerque, New Mex., and in Las Vegas, Nev., for a combined rally attendance of 364. Congratulations to the winning corps, leaders, and young people!

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