Happening Now Blog

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Youth Convention Final Days

Day 3: Justice Day

In case you weren’t sure, the youth of SOV are freaking awesome. Today they woke up ready to work and boy did they ever. We cleaned up trash from the second ward of Houston and filled more trash bags than you can imagine. The amount of energy and hearts for service that was shown today was inspiring. These young people are amazing and we are beyond proud to be their youth leaders.

After our service work we were able to eat lunch and fellowship with the other groups out with us in the neighborhood.

Next we headed back to NRG arena where they had different areas with activities and games. The youth participated in a dance party, played in bouncy houses, tried to beat Stacey at card games (Matthew succeeded!!) and ate dinner.

Mass Gathering at NRG stadium was again, full of energy, excitement and a whole lot of Lutheran SWAG (saved with amazing grace). Our speakers focused on Grace and reminded us that because of Grace we are enough and perfectly made by Him. We were able to sing, worship and left feeling energized despite the long day and hard work!!

We are excited for tomorrow and the day of community and activities!

Day 4: Community Day!

We started off day four with a ‘family’ sit down lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, after sufficiently eating enough we walked to the tram and headed to our gathering place for the day, NRG center.

To say we were able to fellowship is an understatement! Nearly 10,000 young people were at the center were there were opportunities to play games, learn about social justice, ELCA community support programs, shop at the Old Lutheran store, and much more! Many Lutheran colleges were also there and Emily was able to go say hi to her soon to be cohorts at PLU!!

Caitlin and Amber took one for the team and held spots in line early for Mass Gathering so we were able to have great seats for the night. The youth were inspired and God was felt in many ways at Mass Gathering tonight and all throughout the day. There is greatness in these young people and their hearts are being prepared to go out in the world and make a change. It is amazing to witness and we are so great full they have been given this opportunity to grow in faith and love this week.

Gods hope changes everything!!

Day 5 - Sad to say goodbye

Yesterday was our very last day in Houston. We woke up early, packed our things and headed to worship. Sunday morning service with 30,000 people is something that can change a person. The amount of love, prayer, song and goodness in that arena was palpable. The feeling of hearing that many people repeat and the echo of ‘and also with you’ can bring a Lutheran to tears.

We heard a sermon by Bishop Eaton that again reminded us that Gods love, hope and grace changes EVERYTHING and we are so completely, totally and wonderfully made by Him. Through our faith in Jesus all things are possible and after this week there is little doubt in our young people’s mind that this is TRUE.

We then shared in holy communion, passed the peace and sent out prayers into the world that we know will make a difference, and for that, we are thankful.

After service we held our breath and found out that the next gathering will be............


We had a late flight so we were able to spend the afternoon at the Aquarium squeezing in as much last minute bonding and group fun as we could! We touched sting rays, rode the shark train, played in a splash pad, saw a TON of fish and even a white Tiger. They also had a few fun rides that the kids were daring enough to go on, however their leaders happily stood by with the bags and watched.
After eating a delicious meal at the aquarium it was time to head to the airport. We made it safe and sound with all 12 youth back to PDX a little after midnight and handed them back to their parents (all in one piece even).

All of us would like to say THANK YOU to everyone at SOV for helping to make this trip possible. Your donations, support and prayers meant the world to us and we want you to know it is so appreciated. This trip honestly changed the lives of these 12 young people (and their leaders) and it couldn’t have happened without your support.

All 14 of us encourage you to reach out and ask any questions you may have or if you want to hear more about any part of our trip, we will happily share!!

Again, thank you, THANK YOU for your support and prayers!

In Christ,
SOV Youth Group