Just two weeks into the New Year, over 130 teens from across Wyoming and Colorado gathered for the 2015 Teen Prayer Summit, an annual event sponsored by the RMC Youth Department to kick off the year.

To create unity between our camps—Glacier View Ranch and Mills Springs Ranch—as well as among Pathfinders and other youth groups and events, the Youth Department is adopting the theme of “Thrive.” All year, they’ll be discovering different aspects of how we thrive in our walk with God, our study of Scripture, our relationships at church and at home, and in our relationship with Jesus.

Jim Hughes, Durango based teacher for Columbine Christian School and keynote speaker for this event, shared his own testimony of discovering Jesus. He then explored the contrast found between thriving in Jesus and barely surviving. With a vast experience in outdoor life, adrenaline sports and primitive skills, he drew on his knowledge to demonstrate the disparity between a self-centered world perspective and the one that Jesus calls us to: an others-centered life of service.

Union College students led out in praise and worship. Many were summer camp staff looking forward to carrying the theme of Thrive into the summer season. Kyle Berg, senior language arts major, led a breakout session on discovery in prayer. He steered his group through many different practical approaches to prayer. “This class was a favorite for almost everybody,” said Joanna Rivera, Youth Department assistant. “I heard many students describe it as life changing.”

Reflecting on the event, RMC youth director Steve Hamilton stated, “This is a unique event where our kids show up from all over, including our public schools. Any time that we can share Jesus with youth and connect them with people who love Jesus, that’s a win for us.”

This article was also published in the March/April 2015 print edition of OUTLOOK. It was written by Anthony Handal, associate youth director for the Rocky Mountain Conference.