Academy Bible Conference Helps Youth Face the Real World
This year's Academy Bible Conference brought academy, home school and public high school students from across the North Pacific Union Conference for an October weekend of spiritual enrichment at Camp Berachah near Auburn, Wash.
The theme for the weekend was “Download—Uplink” to emphasize downloading a spiritual relationship with Jesus and uplinking by sharing your faith with others. Larry Unterseher, Montana Conference youth director, challenged the students to have a practical working relationship with Jesus that will help them in their daily walk with Him and prepare them to spend eternity with the Lord. At the end of the main Sabbath service, many students came up for special prayer recommitment, including four students requesting baptism.
Dwain Edmonds, Insight magazine editor, shared with the students how to download Jesus for themselves and discussed the ongoing battles that young people are facing regarding sexual immorality, pornography and how these issues can affect their relationship with the Lord. The workshops opened the eyes of the students to the real world that they will face when they graduate from high school.
Debbie Craft from Straight Talk Ministry in Paradise, Calif., gave a moving testimony about her life growing up in the Adventist Church and her battle with drugs, alcohol and gender identification. She shared some of the troubling problems that lead to teen suicide. Having attempted suicide, Craft has first hand knowledge of the subject. She appealed to the group to seek help, even if it means breaking a promise to someone that is talking about taking his or her life.
Six students shared testimony on how going on an overseas mission trip changed their lives and gave them a new perspective of the Adventist Church and its place in the world. Mark Weir, Auburn Adventist Academy Bible teacher, appealed to the students to give mission trips a try.
Good music filled the weekend with praise worship led by Auburn students and students from other academies. One of the special features was the music ministry of Chosen, a male quartet from Walla Walla College. Shelea Frazier, a Christian recording artist from southern California, inspired and moved the audience with her beautiful, melodic voice. The highlight of her concert was when she shared a beautiful song the Lord had given to her after the passing of her grandmother, which moved this young audience to tears.
Saturday night was a time of fellowship, recreation and cultivating new friendships. The weekend finished with the academy students presenting two hours of drama and music displaying each school's and student's unique talents.
This weekend was a special time for the young people to meet and develop lasting friendships with other students from around the union.