175 local teens from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently participated in a weekend Youth Conference. The theme was Becoming a Spiritual Soldier and focused on James 1:5-6 in the New Testament.
Youth from seven local area congregations including Sherman, Durant, Bonham, Celina, and Melissa, were divided into platoons and spent the next two days together having fun, doing service projects and listening to speakers - including Matt Osborn, a former CIA agent, who works for Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that rescues children from slavery around the world. (http://ourrescue.org)
After speaking to the youth about being an influence for good in the world, Mr. Osborn left the meeting to fly to Haiti where he directed a rescue mission. With the assistance of Haitian authorities, his group cracked a major slavery ring and rescued 29 young women and children on February 5.
Kaylee Smith, 14, said, “ I thought Youth Conference was really uplifting! I enjoyed getting to know the other youth.”
In addition to classes and workshops, youth also participated in two service project benefitting Children’s Hospital of Plano and Loaves and Fishes – 150 coloring kits and 50 craft project bags for kids in the hospital were created, and a large moving truck full of used clothing was sorted and donated. They had a Nerf War, Bubble Soccer Game and Photo Scavenger Hunt with the 175 attendees working together in teams to accomplish mission objectives.