Emma Bahnmiller – Fort Lupton, Colorado … Youth from eight different states converged at the Fort Lupton Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fort Lupton, Colorado, for the Rocky Mountain Youth Retreat (RMYR), May 16-19. The retreat strived to ignite young people’s passion for God and His mission with the weekend’s theme “For His Glory.”

As attendees arrived the afternoon of May 16, the weekend launched with fellowship, fun icebreakers, and an evening wrap-up meeting. Each day of the retreat held spiritually engaging meetings accompanied by rich worshipful music, scripture memorization, and preaching, all planned and performed by the youth. This gave the youth a safe place to become comfortable in leadership roles and activities of church life such as public speaking, music participation and leadership, audio/video (AV) and public address (PA) systems management, and leadership in the spiritual growth of others.

Outreach education and training also played a central role in the retreat’s schedule with opportunity for the youth to use what they learned out in the community. Outreach education took the form of break-out sessions in which the youth formed into two groups led by Alex Rodriguez, director of Evangelism and Field Services and an associate director of the World Bible School for the Voice of Prophecy, and Matt Hasty, Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) Literature Ministry director.

Rodriguez gave a powerful presentation on the importance of young people being active in church ministry and leadership, while Hasty presented an inspiring and practical session on ways that anyone can simply and boldly share their faith.

In addition to the daily activities on May 17, was a youth favorite activity: “outreach prep.” Assembly lines were formed by the youth around tables laden with Adventist literature, prepackaged mint candies, and bags to put it all in. Just as outreach prep finished, the youth were surprised by an unplanned visit by Doug Batchelor, pastor and president of Amazing Facts*, who urged them to continue to open the Bible and develop a personal relationship with God.

RMYR youth were responsible for Sabbath worship services at Fort Lupton Church with Hasty leading the youth Sabbath School class. After services, they made use of their outreach training, and the youth went out into the surrounding community.

At each door, prayer was offered for the residents, and they were given a bag and offered free Bible studies. The youth passed out about 800 books and gathered contact information for 21 people interested in Bible studies by the end of the outreach event.

“Rocky Mountain Youth Retreat was such a blessing! Being able to go out there and make a difference is such a good and rewarding feeling. Hopefully we will be able to change lives,” shared Lydia Glick, youth participant from Tennessee.

As the retreat concluded and the young people regrettably said goodbye to each other, they eagerly talked about the next retreat. “Each young person left empowered, encouraged, and on fire for the Gospel, and ready to take that inspiration and zeal to their local churches and communities,” remarked Emma Bahnmiller, youth participant and event secretary and vice president for programming.

“Rocky Mountain Youth Retreat sent me back home reinvigorated and inspired to do Gods work! So many young people excited about God! We enjoyed amazing heartwarming music, genuine worship and prayer, and fellowship with tasty food! We memorized verses, went out on outreach, and heard inspiring messages from young speakers. RMYR was an unforgettable experience with like-minded believers, who had a love for souls, and I’ll be back next year!” commented Nathan Hebert, youth participant from California.

“Going to the youth rally was a huge blessing!” commented Lulu Schlisner, youth participant from Colorado. “I really liked how we had an opportunity to make new friends. And most of all, the outreach! I hope lots of those people come to accept Christ. It was amazing, I’m glad I went and would do it again!”

RMYR’s vision is to see young people realize that God can work through them as they step out in faith, participating in the retreat through outreach, speaking opportunities, leading a devotional, or taking part in programing. The hope is that the fire then started will spread back to their local communities.

Join RMYR for their next retreat and click here to stay updated on future events by visiting their website and subscribing to their emailing list.

* Please note that Amazing Facts International and its media and publications are not affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) nor the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.

—Emma Bahnmiller writes from the Fort Lupton Seventh-day Adventist Church and is the secretary and vice president for programming for the RMYR. Photos supplied.