By Cathryn Lien
WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University’s Youth Becoming Leaders camp (YBL) equips high school students for theologically guided living, producing spiritual leaders with servant hearts and a focus for community ministry.
YBL is open to high school students who are committed to Christ, leaders in their community, academically gifted, and discerning a call to full-time Christian Ministry. Eligible students must have finished 9th grade by June 2018 and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Completed applications are due by March 9. For more information on this summer’s camp and to apply, visit: asbury.edu/YBL.
“Youth Becoming Leaders starts with the belief that God can use young people as leaders right now,” said Dr. Brian Hull, the program’s director and a professor of Youth Ministry at Asbury University.
Each student who attends YBL develops a ministry project alongside mentors from Asbury University’s faculty. Hull says YBL helps the students take their God-given gifts into account as they address the needs of their community. The students then formulate a project into something they can take home and start implementing.
“Participants are not just learning ideas about leadership they can use later, rather they are learning about leadership and practicing those things now,” Hull said. “In addition, we know from research that young people thrive in their leadership efforts when they do it in the context of community and with a mentor.”
Hannah Bellew, a senior at West Jessamine High school, attended the camp in 2016, calling it “one of the greatest blessings” of her life.
“The Holy Spirit was so present during those two weeks of camp,” Bellew said. “Through the Lord's presence and many counselors who were continuously emptying themselves for us, I was able to experience the Father's love in a way I never had before. Because of the program, I’ve become more passionate about serving and loving.”
Bellew says her ministry project was inspired by her love for children and her desire to serve. With the help of her mentors, she started “Kids Club Ministry.” The weekly club, which meets for an hour and a half on Friday evenings, provides a safe place for children to play games and learn Bible stories. Bellew said that while she felt confident in the Lord’s calling, the project was not without its challenges.
“The first couple of weeks were rough,” she said. “I was nervous about how the volunteers and parents would respond. But the Lord knew what He was doing. Through the love that all the volunteers have invested in these children, I have seen the children find confidence in themselves.”
Bellew is thrilled the project has made such a positive impact in her community.
“I started out with my goal of Kids Club to simply be a place where kids could be kids and a place where they could feel the Father's love for them,” Bellew said. “To the children, Friday night is the highlight of their week.”
Bellew said that just as these children’s lives are changing, so too is her spiritual growth.
“Through Kids Club, I discovered that when you give away every ounce of love the father's given you, something beautiful happens and the Lord fills you up with even more love to share with others.”
Bellew plans to attend Asbury University in Fall of 2018 and will study Social Work and Intercultural Studies.
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