It started back in 2014, my cousin Collin invited me to a youth group halloween party, I decided that I would go. The party was so fun, I made some new friends and saw some people that I already new. Collin then invited me to the actual youth group that was every Sunday at Thornapple Valley Church “TVC” in Hastings. I decided I would give it a shot. I started going every Sunday, it was pretty fun, up until we had to do worship. I didn't really enjoy it, not until summer 16’.
2016 was the best year for me, I learned a lot about myself, that is because I decided to go to Fusion camp. Fusion camp was the best thing that has ever happened to me, I wouldn't want to change that week for anything else. It was about a 2 hour drive to the campground of Grace Adventures on a bus with a lot of kids I didn’t know. I became pretty good friends with the kid I was sitting next to on the bus, his name is Emrick. He is the same age as me and we were interested in the same things, so we became friends pretty fast. When we got to the camp and went into our cabin, I noticed I had one other good friend in the cabin with me, his name is Cole. Cole introduced me to some of the other kids in our cabin, the kids were Allen, Arie, another Cole or Cole 2, Ethan, and then Cole and Emrick. We did a lot of things together that week like swimming, football, soccer, paintball… yes paintball, Arie shot me in the neck. I now understood worship, it wasn’t just singing, it is about growing a relationship, but the one thing that I want to talk about was the last night of camp when myself and a couple kids in my cabin experienced a crazy thing.
If I had to guess the time I would say it was about 1am. Ethan, Cole, Allen, Jake and I, had just got done telling stories about our lives. We were all very tired so we decided it was time to go to sleep. Right when Ethan’s head hit the pillow he instantly fell asleep, which was kind of weird. I decided I would pray because that’s what I usually do before going to sleep. While I was praying though, It felt like I couldn’t run out of things to say, I was really calm and felt as if I was sleeping, but I wasn’t, it is kind of hard to explain. While I was praying, I heard my name be called, it was a very subtle and calm voice, It sounded like Jake so I opened my eyes and looked over at him realizing that he was in his bed sleeping on the other side of the cabin. This a little scary to me because the voice sounded like it was in my head. I then woke Jake up to find out if he was calling my name “Hey, did call my name?” I said to him. “No, did you call mine?” he replied. “No, I was laying in bed praying and I heard someone call my name and it sounded like you” “I heard my name being called by a voice that sounded like yours” he said. It turns out that Jake and I had experienced the same thing. We both thought this was very odd,but we eventually went back to sleep. I started to pray again and heard a mumble, I couldn’t make out what it was saying though. I woke Jake back up because I was kind of creeped out at that point. A couple minutes after I had woke Jake up, Ethan sat up really fast freaking out, he kept asking us if we had touched his arm. We had to tell him multiple times that we didn’t, we weren’t even close to him. A few moments late Cole sat up also freaked out. We asked him what was wrong and he had explained a “dream” that he had. He was in a church with some other people, he told us that Ethan was in it, there was was someone walking around touching the arms of the people. When the person got to Cole that is when he woke up. We thought this was really weird, but it got even weirder when Ethan looked at Cole in shock and said that he had the same exact “dream”. We stayed up for a long time after that trying to figure out what happened. It was very emotional for us because we are all believers in Christ, and we believed that it was some sort of message from him. We were very loud and the odd thing about that was that no one else in our cabin woke up. We even tried to wake Allen up but he stayed sleeping. We eventually fell asleep.
The next morning at breakfast, Cole, Ethan and I, had explained to the guest preacher what we had experienced. He told us that when he was younger he had experienced something similar to what we had told him.
A couple days after camp, we gathered a couple kids that were in our cabin and we went to Tanger Outlet Mall and handed out TVC cards, Jesus loves you cards and we prayed for people. There was one guy at Journey’s that had brace on his arm, we saw that opportunity to pray for him so we walking into the store, asked him if we could pray for him, he said sure so we all layed a hand on him and did just that. Right when we were done praying for him he told us that the pain went away, he couldn’t feel it anymore. About a week later Cole and I went to Middleville to pray for people, within the first 10 minutes of walking around, we saw a lot of people that had casts, a brace, crutches etc. we went up to every person that hand injuries and we prayed for them.
Since then I have really stepped up in my leadership in our youth group. I have helped many people who are curious about God, prayed for many people, healed people with prayer, watched many miracles and have seen myself change views on how I see certain things. I now go to youth group on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s, Cole and I do on stage things like playing in the band during worship, welcoming people, creating games, and just making it as fun as we can. I plan on working at TVC one day because I really enjoy the atmosphere of the church.
I now know my role to be a leader and to help people through tough times, and that is what I will continue to do, I have Fusion, my cousin and God to thank for that.