Eleven youth, 6th to 12th-graders, and three adults from the Eastern PA UMC Conference trekked to Kansas City, Mo., July 8-15, to join thousands of their peers at Youth 2019, July 10-14, a quadrennial, national convocation of United Methodist youth and youth leaders. Together they explored and celebrated Christian discipleship, worship, Bible study and mission service, all under the theme “Love Well.”
The nearly 18-hour, 1,100-mile journey through five states in a 15-passenger van was a costly adventure made possible by generous donors who provided supplies and much-needed funds. “Every donation was a blessing, and our Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) extends grateful hearts to all those who donated to this trip,” said the Rev. David Piltz, Conference Coordinator of Youth Ministries.
The most meaningful experience to CCYM president Joseph Tirado Jr. was “being able to worship with others who were excited to worship. That allowed me to feel God’s presence.”
Another youth said hearing a speaker talk about his own childhood “made me know I’m not alone in my struggle.” And another spoke for many in expressing thanks for being given the opportunity “to change my life so I can help change other lives in the name of Christ.”
“Our youth opened up to share their challenges as teens living with single parents and struggling with friendships, body image, death, peer pressure and not feeling loved,” said Piltz. Associate Youth Ministries Coordinator Jezerel Gutierrez and Jose Torres both joined Piltz as adult leaders on the trip.
“We listened, supported, prayed for them and role-modeled what it means to ‘Love Well.’ The Eastern PA UMC Conference is blessed to have adult youth leaders everywhere ready to do whatever it takes to help youth personally experience God and the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.
Read more about this youth experience on our website and see photos and see EPAC Youth 2019 photos on our Flickr page.