It was another amazing camp this year for Adult and Teen Challenge Pacific Northwest, but with some new elements. This was the first year a significant number of volunteers invited by all campuses came along for the duration of camp to help cook and serve meals for all the campers. The experience was one for the books! Our volunteers, along with working hard and positive attitudes came together to create an amazing experience for students, staff, family members, and witnessed first hand the power of Christ transforming the lives of our amazing students.
Spiritual Emphasis is truly the highlight of the year for Pacific Northwest Adult & Teen Challenge and the impact of having so many smiling and encouraging volunteers is not one that can be summed up in words. Two of our volunteer lifeguards came to know Christ during an alter call and made a commitment to enter into a personal relationship with Him. In addition to supporting the students, volunteers were given the unique opportunity of connecting with people from across our region of impact, building new relationships with others who have a heart to pour into the lives of those in recovery and support them on their journey to freedom and new life in Christ.
“I went to Spiritual Emphasis with a closed heart, thinking this was just going to be one more event to check off my list for my program. But when I stepped out of the van in the parking lot, I knew I was wrong: I could sense the Holy Spirit moving like I’ve never felt Him before. Then, later that night at chapel, I saw the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Hundreds of broken people were looking for God to do something radical in their lives, just like me. Hundreds of people wanting Jesus to make their heart whole, just like me. Hundreds of people wanting to praise Jesus, the one true king, just like me. Not just students but our staff and their leaders and families wanting Jesus in their lives! I couldn’t believe the magnitude of the response of people who were claiming Jesus as savior, and this was just day one….
The following morning, my life changed forever. Leading up to my baptism, I felt this anxiousness in my heart. It was causing me to doubt if I really was a Christian and if I could really walk this out. But as I stepped into the water, I could feel the chains of doubt loosening up on me and when I declared Jesus as my savior I knew everything was going to be okay. When I went under water, I felt the worries of my life break free and when I came up, I felt so much warmth and love. I’ve never sensed anything like it. It was a love that doesn’t come from family or friends but a love of the most High God, My God Jesus.”
Hi my name is Javier Guzman,
I walked through the doors of Teen Challenge 4 1/2 years ago totally broken and desperate for change. Nobody in my family trusted me enough to give me a chance in their homes or around their families. That’s how I ended up in Teen Challenge. It took me a year and a half to finish the year-long program. Then, I felt that the Lord was wanting me to enroll in the internship program with Adult & Teen Challenge, so I stuck around for another year. When I was done with the internship, I was offered a position as a staff member and I have been on staff going on 2 years now. God continued to show me His hand of restoration as he brought my oldest son into the doors of the very program that saved my life. This Spiritual Emphasis I watched my son take an altar call in which he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and then the following day made a public declaration by being baptized in front of hundreds of witnesses.
My heart is overwhelmed with joy!! Watching my son be baptized has totally enlarged my heart for this ministry of Teen Challenge and has given me a different heart towards the men we serve at our campus. Spiritual Emphasis is where my son found freedom in Jesus Christ. My daughter cried upon hearing the news and said she is so thankful for Teen Challenge. I can see The Lord’s hand working through Teen Challenge in all that He does for me and many others. Teen Challenge walked me through my transformation process and then even opened the doors for me to serve the Lord here. As if that wasn’t enough, Teen Challenge is now being instrumental in my own son’s life changing process. God has begun the breaking of generational curses in my family!
On behalf of the entire family of Pacific Northwest Adult & Teen Challenge, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all volunteers and donors that took part in this monumental weekend. Without your support of this ministry, we could not have achieved the success we witnessed take place during Spiritual Emphasis 2019. Special thank you to our volunteer EMT Taylor Hintsala who happens to be a graduate of the Pacific Northwest Teen Challenge program who brought peace and assurance with his on-site presence and thank you to Erica Dowden who served as our lead volunteer-coordinator. Lives will forever be impacted across the region as the students and staff reflect on how God moved in their hearts.