Wednesday, September 3, 2014

{2014 Young People in Mission} The Design Team

Many students are involved with their church’s youth ministry: it’s a great way to meet friends, have fun, and of course, learn about the love and new life found in Christ. Watching a young person “get it” is one of the most rewarding parts of working with students, and it’s even more exciting when they feel a calling to take their roles within their student ministries to the next level. The Design Team is open to any student who is entering 9th grade, but has not yet completed their first year of college. It is comprised of a Chair, Vice Chair, 4 others from around the Jurisdiction and two Young Adult Representatives who take on the responsibility of dreaming up what each year’s event looks like. While we here at UMVIM, SEJ handle much of the administrative side of things and provide support, it’s these dynamic young people who translate their vision and ideas into reality. Who else is better to engage students than their own peers after all? Not only is being on the Design Team a lot of fun, but it’s also an incredibly opportunity for them to make new friends, work on a team, network with key people within the church, build their confidence, and even their résumé!
We will have a blog post soon about the 2015 Design Team, but first we wanted to give this year’s team the opportunity to share what this experience has meant to them. 

The Justice League

Rachel Russell, Green Lantern, Chair: "For me, Young People in Mission has always been a very empowering event. It's a unique opportunity to come together and learn about missions and get a glimpse of what you are capable of doing through God. Design Team, specifically, has always been about people. I've never done anything else that allowed me to connect with other in the way that Design Team did. I was able to work on a closer level with organizations like UMVIM, I have a new family through the other Design Team members, and you're able to connect with the campers on a completely different level."

Ismael Luna, Aquaman, Vice Chair
: "It's my second family! Each of us have a special unique talent that we bring on the team. But we are all there for same reason, to experience God's presence in us and through us. We work hard, have fun, and joke around with each other. It's a privilege to serve on the DT with just an amazing group of people."

Ryan Calhoun, Batman: “The Design Team is the most humbling experience I’ve ever encountered. After attending YPIM for 4 years as a camper, seeing what happens behind the scenes and how much hard work and dedication goes into making this event possible has humbled me like nothing else before it.”

Devon Dollar, The Flash
: “It was a team that I will definitely miss and hope to work with somehow in the feature.”

Taylor Thomas, Superman
"It's an opportunity to show youth God's love by serving them."

Gracie Thull, Wonder Woman
"I love putting my energy and time into things that pay off for Jesus, and Young People in Mission Design Team has been a perfect outlet. It has also been REALLY fun. I have made new friends and done some crazy things that I would not have done otherwise, in essence, this experience has taught me to be brave in Christ."

Billy Rainey, Young Adult Representative
: “Guacamole Quarter Pounder.”

Laura Kigweba, Young Adult Representative
: “
When we were at Young People in Mission...that is what justice truly boiled down to. It was loving one another in a way we knew we could."

photos by Jeff Cope, Landon Taylor, Rachel Russell

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