The Oxygen Youth Rally was a breath of fresh air for the teens, pastors and volunteers who attended last fall at Broken Arrow Ranch. We were touched by messages from local ministers in our general sessions including Smerdis Fuentes from Piedmont Park, Tori Henton from College View Academy, Payton Arnett, a theology major at Union College, and Jefferson Gibson from Omaha Memorial. Most of the music was led by the very talented UCrew, a group of students who spend many weekends on tour ministering to teens and representing Union College.

There were fun games and connecting activities including an extreme egg toss, a polar plunge, a night hike and a nighttime kayaking adventure. These were facilitated by Mic Henton, Keith Acker and myself. Frank Kean led a memorable Sabbath school talking about oxygen and fire as it relates to the Holy Spirit with some very hands on examples. The kitchen crew led by pastor Edwin Bravatti and his wife Nelly was on point. There was never an excuse to be hungry.

The students had great things to say about the weekend: “It helped me come out of my shell and be around other Christian teens because it’s not something I get to do often and it showed me that God does have a plan for me life.” “It was fun getting to know more people…It helped me get closer to God because of the sermons…It reminded me of how God is always going to be with us…no matter how deep in sin I am I can always go to God.” “Every time I’m at Broken Arrow Ranch I feel like my connection with Jesus grows stronger. Just being around other youth who love Jesus makes everything so much better.” “Oxygen was definitely a wake-up call for me. It gave me a desire to be connected with the Lord as much as I stay connected to oxygen.” “Going to Oxygen was an awesome experience and I would definitely go there next year.”

I just want to say a big thank you to all the leaders and volunteers around the conference that helped to make this weekend all that it was. Thank you to everyone who sent their teens. Let’s keep serving our youth and showing them the kind of love Jesus has for them by our example, support and how we engage them in church and service.

Over the last months we have made some great connections with the youth and young adults at our conference events and we hope to build our communication with them in ways that work best for them. If someone reading this would like to be on the forthcoming email list for our youth and or young adults, please let me know at if you’d like to receive both, or one or the other, and we’ll add you to the appropriate list(s).

Nick Snell is the youth and young adult director for the Kansas-Nebraska Conference.