In June Schenectady City Life brought nine high school students to a conference called Heatwave in Wildwood, New Jersey. This is the second year that we’ve brought students and we had an amazing time! This year, the kids got more involved in group and small group activities which allowed them to meet new people, step out of their comfort zone, and learn more about Christ and Christian fellowship. The students had the opportunity to walk the boardwalk, go to the beach, and go on amusement park rides; which some of them may never do again.
Though we had an amazing time just having fun and relaxing, there was also a lot of powerful things going on. Schenectady students were meeting new people, getting involved in small group challenges, and singing and dancing to worship songs; something that doesn’t happen very often with kids from Schenectady. Out of the nine students we brought to Heatwave, two of them began a new relationship with Jesus and at least two of them rededicated their lives to Him publicly!
One of those students who gave their life to Christ was, Joe. Joe has been coming to City Life off and on for a couple of years, but has gotten more steadily involved over this past winter/spring. He struggles a lot with anxiety, and this past spring we found out that he had a plan to end his life. We are still learning more about Joe and we don’t know his full story yet, but what we do know is that God changed his heart at Heatwave and that he now has God to rely on with his fears and anxieties. God works in powerful ways, praise God!
The day after these students committed and recommitted their lives to Christ, we all ate together for lunch and shared our favorite and our least favorite times at the conference. The things that these kids shared out loud were incredible! They were so open and vulnerable with each other, which is very difficult to do when you’re a teenager from Schenectady. Again praise God! We look forward to the rest of the summer investing in these students and sharing Christ with others as well!
*Names have been changed