WYI focuses on making heroes

Young Salvationists encouraged to be heroes in their communities.

by Erick Rodriguez –

WYI delegates worship during an open air outreach at the Space Needle in downtown Seattle. [Photo by Christopher Golden]

On August 9, 141 delegates from throughout the Western Territory and ranging in age from 16-25 arrived at Camp Arnold in Eatonville, Wash. to attend the Western Youth Institute (WYI). Focusing on discipleship, evangelism and leadership, WYI is a week of discovery and challenge for committed young Salvationists who want to deepen their relationship with the Lord. This year’s theme was “Heroes,” as participants examined what makes a hero and how we can all be extraordinary individuals in our communities.

The WYI united worship team, composed of worship leaders from around the territory, led times of energetic worship. Also in this group was Eric Himes, from the Central Territory’s “Singing Company.” The times of worship reminded us to step back and let God work in our lives—that to strong and heroic, we must let go and let God be strong in our weaknesses.

Captain Terry Masango, of the Northwest Division, inspired us each morning with teachings from the book of Joshua. He challenged us to stand up and fight, reminding us that we are called to be more than ordinary or “boredinary”; instead we are called to be extraordinary, everyday heroes in our communities.

Among others, the workshops included Developing a Strong Prayer Life, Music in Ministry and Crafting a Message. Electives offered something for everyone, from Hip Hop Dancing to Drama to Clowning, and more.

The evening sessions were never dull. We enjoyed the intense and sometimes gross Fight Night led by Fulton Hawk and Jim Sparks, the worshipful Prayer Night, Talent Night and Nerd Hero Square Dance Night.

Each session of WYI introduces something different. This year it was an outreach at the Space Needle in downtown Seattle. Territorial Youth Secretary Major Ivan Wild spoke to the crowd about Christ and the work of The Salvation Army around the world.

Throughout WYI, delegates had the chance to spend personal time with the Lord, enjoying his presence and his Word. At the end of the week, each was challenged to take the 21-Day Challenge on Take a look at the site and unite with us. These 21 days can turn into a lifetime of powerful prayer and devotion.

As the vans and buses exited Camp Arnold, I reflected on the past week. In comic books, atomic explosions or radioactive exposure create heroes. At WYI, we experienced a spiritual explosion of God’s Holy Spirit, and many were exposed to his power and anointing.

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