Ohio Hispanic Youth Camp Attracts More Than 300
Story by Heidi Shoemaker
More than 300 young people from Hispanic churches across Ohio came together for the 2019 Hispanic Youth Camp earlier this year. Themed “El Viene Por Mi” (He is Coming for Me), they met at the Indian Trail Campground in New London.
Pastor Benjamín Carballo (pictured), former youth director for the Inter-American Division, was the main speaker and musician for the meetings. “Energy and excitement from the beginning until the end characterized this unique youth camp,” says Peter Simpson, Hispanic Ministries coordinator for the Ohio Conference.
According to Simpson, after a powerful and challenging sermon Friday evening, the sky was awash with fireworks. Attendees formed a huge circle around a large campfire, “where everyone deposited their prayer requests while songs and prayers rose to heaven. ... Many of our young people felt this was the most emotional opening night they ever experienced during a youth camp,” he says.
On Sabbath “two precious souls gave their lives to Jesus through baptism,” shares Simpson. Throughout the rest of that day, young adults representing various churches and districts shared their talents in music, drama and had Bible challenges. Many parents and local church leaders attended the afternoon session to encourage and support their young people while enjoying the extraordinary program.
Edward Marton, Ohio Conference youth director, came to congratulate Hispanic youth and to assist in a special ceremony recognizing program participants and winners. Pastors Enmanuel Freites and Albert Perez, both Hispanic youth coordinators and youth camp organizers, presented Marton with a medal of recognition.
“Our church is definitely growing young,” says Simpson. “Every year we not only have more young people coming to these types of events, but more of them are involved in church activities and mission. We praise the name of the Lord for this unique and outstanding youth camp.”