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Central, Southern districts hold annual youth conferences

Randy Friesen, president of Multiply (formerly C2C Network and MB Mission), closes SDYC with a powerful prayer of sending for the teenagers and youth workers. Photo: Sara Jo Waldron

A total of almost 500 USMB youth and sponsors attended fall district youth conventions hosted by the Central and Southern District Conferences.

The Central District Youth Conference was held Nov. 8-11, 2018, at Inspiration Hills Camp near Inwood, Iowa. Around 100 youth and sponsors gathered for the conference themed, “Abundant Life” based on John 10:10.

Speaker Jason Maupin, founder and CEO of Elevate Industries in Milwaukee, Wis., focused on the theme, “Abundant Life,” based on John 10:10. With a burden to bring light to the hopeless and hurting, Elevate Industries helps encourage, motivate and equip students to make healthy life choices. Attendees also heard from representatives of Tabor College, Multiply, Faith Front, YouthCon and Multiply, a new church planting ministry formed following the merger of MB Mission and C2C Network.

“We have been blessed to see God at work drawing the hearts of young teens to him at CDYC,” says Anthony Lind, associate youth pastor at Bethesda MB Church in Huron, S.D., and member of the Central District youth committee.

Meanwhile, more than 381 youth and adults attended the Southern District Youth Conference held Nov. 16-18, 2018, at Fairview (Okla.) MB Church. The theme was “Mighty Warriors.

Speakers were Randy Friesen, president of Multiply, and Fred Sutherland, Multiply short term mission program coordinator. The Jake Stemo Band led worship.

“The SDYC weekend was incredible,” says Russ Claassen, youth pastor at Koerner Heights Church in Newton, Kan., and district youth minister, in an email interview. “God did something beautiful in the lives of so many. Travis Schmidt and the Fairview MB team were wonderful hosts.

“Students stood, bowed and huddled together to indicate their dedication to and reliance upon God,” Claassen says, estimating that about 30 students made a commitment of some sort over the weekend. “Several chose to believe and follow Jesus. Others determined to move from their passive belief to live all in as Mighty Warriors for the Lord and His Kingdom.

“I’m excited for what God is going to do in and through these teenagers,” Claassen says. “Can you imagine what God can do with a sanctuary full of radical young disciples? My prayer is that these students will continue to fall deeper and deeper in love with God. I have confidence in the youth leaders in our district. They are strong and courageous in their personal relationships with God. They are solid leaders wanting to walk alongside the teens and families of their church as they seek God together.”

The event also included workshops, free-time and late-nite activities.

“As always, God was faithful to dwell among us at SDYC,” says Sara Jo Waldron, SDC Youth Commission chair and youth pastor at Hillsboro (Kan.) MB. “Students and adults encountered a living God and moved from places of doubt and fear to places of faith and devotion as courageous and mighty warriors for the kingdom of God. Randy spoke with power, conviction and personal depth; I have no doubt that we will see and hear of the fruit from this time together for many years to come.”

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