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Youth councils focus on standing for Christ

Reports from the Southwest, Intermountain and Sierra del Mar divisions

Youth councils 2012 put forth a challenge to the Western Territory’s young peopletake action, serve others, and rise and stand for Christ.

Camp Ponderosa Ranch, Heber, Ariz., hosted the Southwest Divisional youth councils weekend. Each day offered the 246 participants a different focus: Stand with Christ, Stand for Others, and Stand on the Word.

Megan McQuade, territorial director of Child and Youth Outreach Ministries, organized a social justice fair to demonstrate practical action—preparing homeless kits, making sandwiches and taking donations for those in need, and signing petitions against companies that do not value fair trade/human dignity.

Lt. Anthony Barnes, divisional youth and candidates’ secretary, reminded delegates that they do not stand alone; others have “stood in the gap,” encouraging believers in their faith and sharing Jesus’ love with those who have not experienced it.

Major Tim Foley, College for Officer Training at Crestmont principal, spoke on “Standing on the Word,” emphasizing that God is faithful to his promises and present in all circumstances. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58 NIV).

Delegates considered why and how they stand for Christ. “The kids were open,” said Yuma Corps Officer Captain Tracie Hartt. “At one point I looked down the row and saw all of them with arms raised up in worship—awesome!”

High Peak Camp in Estes Park, Colo., hosted 147 delegates—representing all 19 corps—at the Intermountain Divisional youth councils. The theme came from Matthew 10:22: All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved (NIV), which led to the secondary theme in which teams of delegates faced “Amazing Race”-style challenges, organized by the Territorial Youth Department.

Lt. Col. Judy Smith, territorial program secretary, spoke during the “United Session 2: Stand IN,” encouraging delegates to stand for Christ. An evening Music Superstar Dinner allowed participants to dress as their favorite music star. Captain Raymond Erickson-King, divisional youth and candidates’ secretary, dressed as Elvis. Illusionist Jared Hall provided entertainment.

Captain Roy Wild, territorial youth secretary, preached on how to “Stand Firm.” Many delegates and leaders responded to the call to officership and to take a stand for Christ.

Pine Summit Camp in Big Bear Lake, Calif., welcomed 230 participants to the Sierra del Mar Divisional youth councils. Focusing on making a stand for Christ, delegates examined how that translates to everyday life. Each day presented a different dimension of what it means to “Stand”: Stand Down (to surrender); Stand Up (renewed life in Christ and to stand for others); and Stand Out (to live life as a living testimony of the change in one’s heart).

Visiting leaders included Lt. Colonels Victor and Joan Doughty, Captain Paula Wild, Cadet Caroline Rowe, and Joy Lee and the Territorial Worship Arts Ensemble. Entertainment included a program by The Brain Show, with contestants answering trivia questions and displaying their dance moves, followed by a black light party Saturday night. Delegates also participated in creative expression workshops, including moviemaking and songwriting.

From reports by Rachel Utrera (Southwest), Amy Stagg (Intermountain) and Amy Ball (Sierra del Mar)

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