OMF Conference at Mt Makiling - Youth Program

At the OMF Field Conference, Kathryn and I led the youth program.
We had about a dozen teenagers, all Missionary Kids (MKs). Their families came from a number of different countries: Germany, UK, Switzerland, the Philippines and Singapore.
Some of them I remembered from 2013 - although they were much younger then, and in the children's rather than the youth program - so there was a nice continuity there.
There were a couple of challenges along the way - one being that there was no allocated room for the youth program. We ended up spending a lot of time in the conference centre's games room and cafe, and the cafe staff were very accomodating when we kept moving the chairs to suit our bible study!


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We had the youth for nine hours each day, and at other times like meals and free time they often wanted to hang out with us, so there was no escaping!
But thankfully they were a great bunch of kids.
Here's some of the things we did at the program:

- Games: Being based partially in the games room, we played quite a lot of foosball, carpet bowls, darts and ping-pong. We also played some running around games like Fresher and the sneak-up-behind-someone game, some card games like Mafia and Emperor Scum, and some other games, including "Zip-Zap", Bang and Kill (the latter two leading one of the girls to say "all the games you play are so violent!" - but they weren't really, promise!)

The most popular games included a photo caption challenge, where we sent them off around the conference centre, armed with a camera and a list of captions, an epic game of bible-story pictionary and a drawing game.


- Watch a movie: One evening we watched the film 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople' with the youth. The heavy rain on the tin roof of the games room made it difficult to hear the film, but maybe it was just as well as they ended up finding the New Zealand accents a bit hard to understand!


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- Bible study: At the heart of what we did was time spent in God's word. Like the childrens' program, we based our studies around a bible overview, based on material from Vaughan Robert's book, God's Big Picture. Kathryn and I led bible studies, looking at how the structure of 'God's People in God's Place under God's Rule and Blessing' is seen throughout the bible, and how all of it fits together. I was worried that the material would be a bit difficult, especially for the younger ones, but they seemed to grasp it well and were enthuiastic to read God's word.

Over the course of our eight bible studies, it was great to see some of the quiter teengers grow a bit more confident in contributing to the discussion.


We also spent time eating at the cafe, having our accents made fun of, and just chatting with the youth. It was great to get to know each of them better throughout the conference, and get a glimpse into their lives as PKs in the Philippines.
It was a very exhausting few days for the two of us, but it was great to be able to invest in the young people and encourage them. I know I'll be praying for each of them in the coming years, that they will continue in their faith, and keep trusting Jesus Christ as their Lord.


- Sam


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