Excited guys and girls jumped out of the vans that pulled up to the Main Lodge. A few weeks ago, the first wave of a group of youth from churches that are involved in the Urban Church Association from Wichita gathered for their fall retreat. These were the “hype team” and they definitely lived up to their name: they set up a sound system on the sidewalk, grabbed an assortment of hula hoops from the back of the van, started blowing kazoos, and got ready to welcome the rest of the group!
The Morning Star Ranch Team looks forward each fall to connecting with these youth and sponsors and this year more than ever! Several of these young people have come to summer camp or with their churches to family camp in the summer and we have enjoyed seeing them grow in their relationship with the Lord.
The visits we had and the stories we heard, expressed that love for the Lord and for others. The theme of the weekend was Community. Through times of worship and praise, teaching sessions, small group discussions, even the group games, over and over we were encouraged to see the relationships between the youth with others from other churches. By the end of their time here, there were already plans in the works for another get-together in Wichita in a couple of months for a meal and time of worship!
Over and over as well, we heard various ones share how the Lord has been working in their lives. One of the youth sponsors spoke of how she has come to Morning Star Ranch every year for more than 20 years since she accepted the Lord as her Savior here as a teenager; now for the past several years, she is discipling and investing in teens in her church. A young fellow I have connected with during summer camp stopped me several times during the weekend to talk about how much this place meant to him and how thankful he was to be able to come back again! His mother came as a sponsor and expressed how good the camp has been for him through challenging times. Several people spoke of how much they sense the Lord is in this place, even when they turn off the highway onto the long driveway into the camp!
As we see and hear how the Lord is raising up vibrant leaders, we are reminded that young people like this are not just the future of the church, they are the church! World Impact empowers urban leaders and partners with local churches to reach their cities with the Gospel. Join us in praying for these teens, the sponsors, and leaders who have come alongside them, and for their spiritual protection and growth as they live out what the Lord did in their lives during their time here!