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Youth Weekend Blesses Young and Old with Community Project

Youth Weekend Blesses Young and Old with Community Project

In Eugene, Oregon, a youth worship event expanded to help meet the needs of a community member. More than 60 people–students from homeschools, public schools and private schools, along with parents, youth group leaders, and pastors from several local churches–had come together for the “Eugene Area OR YTH WKND.” The theme for this event was “Layers,” and it focused on creating honest, safe spaces to discuss and peel back the layers in our questions about God, church, religion, relationships, and mental health.

As they were planning the event, the organizers learned of an individual whose property had been damaged during a recent ice storm. “Cheryel Whitsell has been a part of the Springfield community for some time and teaches Primary Sabbath School,” shared Wyatt Johnson, a young adult serving as one of the youth leaders at the Springfield Adventist Church. “During the ice storm, several large tree limbs fell on her house, in her yard, and across her landscaping, but she could not have them cleared due to age and finances. Pastor Lutz Binus had made announcements via email after our youth team expressed that we wanted to incorporate a service project into the Eugene Teen Weekend. We were careful to select a service activity that would actually help someone in need, not just make ourselves feel useful. The ice storm damage was a great opportunity for us to really help.” Although the day was cold and rainy, Wyatt said, “The teens' attitudes were incredible and they made the cold rainy day fun with jokes, laughter, and competitive working.”

Grateful for the help, Cheryel shared a few words of her own. “I thank God for providing this for me. I received several quotes for the yard work that needed to be done and they were in the thousands! I’ve been a single woman for a long time and I couldn’t afford that. They may not know it, but these kids were an incredible blessing. One of the teens told me it was really fun that they got to help! That was wonderful to hear. After the kids came I’ve actually been more motivated to do more work in my yard than I was before. It was a movement of God to make this happen!”

One high school student present that weekend shared that she had never been inside a Seventh-day Adventist Church, but that she couldn’t wait until the next event! The Eugene Area “OR YTH WKND” included representatives from Emerald Christian Academy, the Springfield Adventist Church, the Medford Adventist Church, Storyline Church, the Eugene Korean Adventist Church, Pleasant Hill Adventist Church, Rogue Valley Adventist Academy, Livingstone Adventist Academy, and more!

Next month’s OR YTH WKND will again focus on social, service, and spiritual engagement and will be hosted at the Medford Adventist Church! Contact Pastor Jason Calvert, Oregon Conference associate youth director, at jason.calvert@oc.npuc.org for more information!

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