May 2, 2018
West Coast Youth Challenge
The 2018 West Coast Youth Challenge was held April 13-15 at a campsite near Sutherlin, Oregon. The weekend theme was “Fight for the Truth!” and the key Scripture was the church motto from Jude 3, “Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The weekend was a time for the young people to understand why they must fight for the truth and how to do so effectively.
In the first group session on Friday evening, there was time for singing and a few testimonies, and then Andy and Tina Chasteen of Medford, Oregon, led a session titled “Determination.” They spoke about what it means to contend: to struggle in opposition, strive in rivalry, and fight for the truth. They explained that the Bible is the truth which we want to fight for, and they encouraged the young people to take ownership of their faith and realize that they are the ones who must protect and fight for it. The evening closed with a time of prayer.
After breakfast on Saturday morning, the first session of the day began at 10:00. Harlan Lee of Roseburg, Oregon, led a discussion on the need to “Build Your Life Around God’s Word.” He brought up fundamental life questions such as: What is sin? Why do bad things happen to good people? When does life begin? What is marriage? He read Scriptures related to these questions and explained that the Bible has the answers we need in life, and it is critical to build our lives according to what the Bible teaches.
After a break for lunch, there was time for a session titled “Make Jesus Your Treasure” in which campers were divided into three groups according to age. Alex and Lorina Wilson of Seattle, Washington, spoke to the high school age young people, Florin and Jill Baros of Sacramento, California, spoke to those of college age, and Trent and Valeska Paulsen of Portland, Oregon, spoke to the post-college attendees. The older group discussed life priorities and how it is important to evaluate the way they spend their time and resources, making sure that their choices reflect their true priorities. Everyone was encouraged to make God their top priority.
For a few hours before dinner, there was free time for playing sports or other games, going for a ride on the camp zip line, or just hanging out with friends. Following this, there was a session divided by gender where leaders spoke about God’s design for men, women, and marriage, and how His design is a blessing and an illustration of His love. The young people were encouraged to adopt God’s plan as their own plan.
The final session of the day was titled “Draw from the Source” and was led by Erik Calhoun of Portland. He read the promise in James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you,” and brought out that when people determine to draw close to God, there is usually some resistance and they may need to let go of something in order to get close to the Lord. He reminded the young people that when they are not able, God is able, and He loves them and will help them. The evening closed with prayer again, and at least one young person prayed through to salvation.
The final gathering of the weekend was held Sunday morning, with a session led by Peter Sletmoe of Grants Pass, Oregon. He read 2 Timothy 4:7-8 where Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…” He encouraged the young people that there is a prize to win in the Gospel, and with God’s help they can win it.
The weekend was both fun and challenging, with many important spiritual lessons and time for prayer. Our hope is that every young person who attended will look to God to help them fight for the truth and win!