Wow! Wow! Wow! God blew our minds in so many ways in how he showed up for Treasured Foundation 2019. These intentional events are put on every 3 years as part of the EMMC vision to engage youth and leaders as part of the bigger EMMC body of churches. We made our plans around the estimation of 250 people coming to this event. Our expectations were exceeded by having around 280 people attend.
Our purpose has always been “to motivate the youth to develop the qualities of the Christian life by equipping them with tools enabling them to live a life dedicated to Christ.”
We want to be intentional in how we connect youth groups and leaders together, to celebrate what God is doing and that we are not alone in the mission. Having such a great number of people from different contexts coming and worshipping together, serving together and learning together encourages each one of us on the journey that we are on. We are so pleased with how God moved in us, and I know the changes that we started to see at TF are going to continue as we go from here.
As one youth leader noted, this event helped to create new relationships in his youth group that he was not able to build before. That is exciting.
We made big changes to Treasured Foundation 2019, mostly in regard to bringing TF to Canada and to the small city of Steinbach, Manitoba. We used Roadhouse 52 Inn and Suites for our lodging and received great service there. And we used our great partnership with Steinbach Bible College for worship sessions, meals, mini-sessions and games.
One of the highlights, again, is the service opportunities. This has been a staple to TF from the beginning, and something unique to our event is this idea of getting everybody serving. It is so fitting with our theme being, ‘it’s time … to embrace the mission’. We are all called to this mission, the mission being God’s work in the world, and we are to partner with God and be faithful to what He is calling us to.
We sent our youth out serving in Winnipeg, Steinbach and Niverville, serving at places like soup kitchens, visiting seniors, caroling, baking, sorting food and prayer walks. And it is no surprise that this has become one of the highlights for youth and leaders. As we think beyond ourselves to serve, we are changed and our eyes become more open to the people around us and that we can embrace the mission by showing the love of Jesus.
One of my highlights was after our second day of service opportunities, we gave opportunity during chapel for people to share about was impacting them and how God had been moving. It was incredible that there was so many youth and leaders sharing what God was showing them. As one person would sit down another was already on their way up. It is amazing to see God working.
Free Servant is another great connection that we have with Steinbach Bible College and we were so blessed by having them lead us in our worship sessions through Holy Spirit-inspired worship in song. We were blessed by them being willing to be a part of our event.
We had so many amazing mini-session speakers and we are so thankful for all the people that said “yes” and were willing to share about what they are passionate about and where God has been leading them. We covered topics from media to sexuality, drama and loving people when we disagree. We also had presenters talk about poverty and how to engage it and our role in it. These were great learning opportunities and youth felt challenged and motivated.
Gord Penner, our main session speaker, did an amazing job engaging us in what it means to ‘embrace the mission’ – the mission of Jesus which we are all called to. His primary text was from 1 Peter 3:13-17, and he led us through 4 sessions in God’s Word based around, “Who do we follow?”, “How do we live?”, “What do we say?” and “Where do we go?”. All this to help inspire us that we can be used and are meant to be used by God as we say yes to ‘embracing the mission’. Gord also led the leader devotions every morning at the hotel and did a great job of setting the tone and getting us focused for the day.
We want to say a big THANK YOU to all the youth groups and leaders that were a part of Treasured Foundation 2019 and helped to make it such a success. It is something that we hope can continue to be an amazing part of the youth ministries in our conference going forward. We want to also give a big shout out to all the amazing youth workers from around the conference in our many churches. I feel so blessed to have met you and feel inspired by you as I watched you all pour into our youth through this event and know that you are continuing to do that now that you are back home. Thank you for all the effort that you put into bringing your youth to TF and work you do on a weekly basis with the youth. Churches please recognize and give encouragement to the amazing youth workers in your church. They deserve it.
TF 2019 Committee Chair
On behalf of the TF Committee