Last week, our NexGen students had an incredible opportunity to experience God’s presence with their community of friends through discipleship and missions. Our middle schoolers spent the week at Camp Eagle, while our high school students participated in a local missions trip called #FORSA.
NextGen Middle School had an amazing six day outdoor adventure together at Camp Eagle, where 31 of us without cell service or WIFI connected with God and one another. Students were encouraged through God’s word and stretched through outdoor activities. Student Scarlett Higdon said about her week, “Camp is so great. It’s so passionate about God’s love and how to show love to others. Camp gets me so pumped up for proclaiming God is Good! Every year there are great young Christian role models that you can’t find anywhere else in my opinion. One big thing I learned is to love God out of celebration, not obligation.”
This year’s theme was Encore and we were challenged to “Drop the show and be real.” We are all broken sinners in need of Christ, yet we often portray the opposite. During one of the most powerful nights we had an activity portraying our sin as mud. We were asked a series of questions like, if you have ever told a lie you would have to roll in the mud twice. This was a powerful image as we saw everyone covered in mud and the reality of all our sin. Later that night, we divided into girl and guy groups and had an opportunity for each student to share their testimony. How beautiful to watch the students practice vulnerability within community as they shared the work of God in their own lives!
One of our adult leaders Danielle Fredrick summed it up well when she shared, “For me, the biggest win of the week was watching everyone as they were stretched physically, mentally, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually. Through the grueling schedule, fears were met and conquered, community was built, and lives were changed.”
A total of 17 NextGen High School students and adults spent the week connecting with and serving two terrific ministries in the San Antonio area – SAMMinistries and Habitat for Humanity. Both organizations maintain a goal to help families in the San Antonio area find safe, permanent homes. In both locations, we were able to not only physically help them, but were able to connect with some of the families as well. It was an awesome experience because it gave our students a chance to remember how blessed they are and what a little love and attention can mean to those who are traveling a rough road.
“When we went to SAMMinistries and worked with the kids, I expected them to maybe be more violent because of their difficult pasts. But I found these kids to be some of the sweetest kids I have ever met and enjoyed working with them so much. They taught me that no matter what you’ve been through, you can still have love and positivity in your heart. It was a really great blessing. Working with them helped me see that God is always there and helping.” Hannah, age 15
This week was a time where our students were able to serve others in a different way than many of them were used to. It gave them a chance to carry out our core values of serving and discipleship + evangelism. While many HS students around the country were swimming, working and relaxing, this group of students were willing to spend their week being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Thanks for praying for and supporting NextGen! If your middle or high school student isn’t plugged into NextGen, we’d love for them to join us on Sundays at 10:30. HS meets in Building 3, MS meets in Building 4. If you’re interested in volunteering with NextGen, click here.