The September youth focus session was held on September 17 in the Fellowship Lodge, and began with prayer and then dinner. The menu included German pancakes (Dutch babies) with various options for toppings: lemon juice and powdered sugar, strawberries and whipped cream, or maple syrup and whipped butter. Some adventurous young people combined all three! On the side, roasted potatoes, sausage, bacon, and eggs were also served.
After dinner, Caleb Copko led the group in some songs and then the group listened to a special testimony from Ryan Parker about a recent miracle in his life. After suffering a spinal stroke, he gave God all the glory for healing him! Next, Erik Calhoun led everyone in a prayer and also spoke briefly about the importance of personal evangelism. He challenged the group to invite friends to church or a youth event. Then for a group activity, everyone played a few rounds of “Name That Tune.” Julianne Luka would play two or three notes of a song on the piano and teams trying to guess what song she was playing.
In remembrance of Brother Joey Ruiz, the Philippines district superintendent who unexpectedly passed away just days before the youth focus, the video of Brother Joey’s last Portland camp meeting sermon was shown. His message opened with the account Rahab the harlot from the Book of Joshua. Brother Joey pointed out that although Rahab lived in a sinful nation and she had a sinful past, the Bible commends her faith and courage to help the spies, and God saved her and her family because of their faith. Brother Joey urged his listeners to have faith like Rahab and to share it with others.
Brother Joey also encouraged everyone by pointing out that after two years of a pandemic and lockdowns, the Church is still faithfully pressing on. He shared a testimony from the recent Philippines camp meeting. He said that because of the strict Covid laws in their country, they wondered how camp meeting could be held this year. However, from the first meeting, the gathering was blessed with wonderful prayer meetings, and people were saved, sanctified, and baptized with the Holy Spirit! He urged everyone to continue staying faithful and serving God, and the evening closed with a time of prayer.