Youth Week draws multi-ethnic participation

PALACIOS Organized by SBTC Hispanic Ministries, the 13th annual Youth Week Summer Camp, July 16-20, on the Gulf Coast near Palacios at Texas Baptist Encampment, drew 350 students and leaders and resulted in 19 salvations, two calls to ministry and one baptism. 

The theme, based on James 4:7, was “Submit & Resist.”

Each year, the camp draws a multi-ethnic crowd of students in grades 6-12. This year, Daniel Sanabria, a Brooklyn native with more than 15 years of experience in youth ministry, served as the camp pastor. As the founder of a youth-led prayer initiative called “God Belongs in My City,” he also leads youth ministry networks across New York’s five boroughs. 

Houston-based Robin Wymer Band led the music for the week.

Jesse Contreras, SBTC Hispanic Ministries associate, told the TEXAN: “The purpose of the camp is for students to worship our Creator with other believers and seek his face. Our mission is to encourage those students to understand their purpose in life and challenge them to live out their faith for the glory of God.”

The camp schedule was jam packed with worship services, group devotionals, Bible studies and after-hours fun. Each evening, after the main worship service, a “What’s Next” special event was featured, which included an improvisational comedy troupe; a camp-wide scavenger hunt; talent show for campers; and an inflatable challenge course.

Jose Maldonado, pastor of Navasota Baptist Church in Navasota, joined his church with other area churches to bring 25 students to Youth Week, of which 17 were first-timers; two accepted Christ. Their association, Agape Fellowship Baptist Association, raised funds to sponsor the students who attended.

For Maldonado, this year’s camp was meaningful. 

“Every night, after the message, we’d have our church team time, and we’d ask if anyone would like to share something that really impacted them,” Maldonado said. “At the end of the week, my daughter went up and shared that she had accepted the Lord.”

An important part of their group time together was memorizing Scripture, he added. In past years, students have read a short book of the Bible together over the course of five days. This year, they studied Proverbs 16-19 and he challenged them to memorize at least one verse a day to share with the group.

“The students were encouraged by it. They got together during their free time, unprompted by leaders, and memorized,” Maldonado said. “At first, only two people participated, but by the end of the week, 12 of them shared what they memorized. Camp each year is just another great way to help our churches and boost our discipleship of these students.” 

TEXAN Correspondent
Kaylan Preuss
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