Potomac Teens Unite at Bible Conference
Story by Sylvia Urrutia
Every year the Potomac Conference’s Movimiento Joven Adventista (MJA), which oversees the conference’s Spanish-speaking youth, hosts a teen Bible retreat in the spring, and the English-speaking teens have their Bible retreat in the fall. This year teens of all ethnicities and languages came together for a teen Bible retreat held July 21-24 at Shenandoah Valley Academy in New Market, Va.
After a slow start to registrations, 180 teens of all ethnicities from around the conference poured on to the Shenandoah Valley Academy campus. Through small groups, worship and seminars geared at tackling real issues, students were able to learn what it meant to be a “21st Century Teen” in this world. Among the speakers, were Pastor Denny Grady, conference Youth Ministries director; Ed Garcia, Sylvia Urrutia, Courtney D’Avilar and Pastor Eliasib Fajardo.
450 Participate in 10th Annual Olympics
The Sunday following the teen retreat, some 450 youth participated in MJA’s 10th annual Olympics. Normally aimed at the conference’s Spanish-speaking youth, this year MJA opened the program to all churches in an effort to unite young people from all cultures.
The youth enjoyed men’s and women’s soccer, teen soccer, volleyball, basketball and a 5K race. Prior to the games, young people from across the conference form teams to represent their churches, and throughout the year, practice in anticipation of this event. The first- and second-place winners of each event received medals during awards ceremonies. Year after year, the soccer tournaments are the highlight of the Olympics, and the winning teams are presented with a trophy in addition to the medals.
“The purpose of this event is to provide an outlet for Christian fellowship, clean and safe competition and encourage physical activity,” said Carol Silva, an MJA leadership team member. “I really believe we were able to accomplish that.”