More than 1,500 students (6th-12th grade) and leaders from 25 churches converged on the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, this past weekend for the annual winter retreat sponsored by student ministries from all over Ohio and Indiana. This was seventh year for this event, which includes three days at North America’s largest indoor waterpark, four main sessions, dynamic worship, powerful messages from God’s Word relevant for student life, time together as a youth group, and fellowship with like-minded churches.
Clayton challenged students from John 6 about how to believe in Jesus and then challenged students to holiness and purity. The response to his message saw 86 first-time decisions for Christ, 275 re-commitments to Christ, more than 300 commitments to a year of not dating to focus on identity and character, and 63 other decisions that direct students lives toward Jesus Christ!
“Praise God! I will never forget watching over 400 students stand up and proclaim a decision for Christ!,” said Jana Muntin, a middle school small group leader from Wooster Grace. “I get tears in my eyes right now picturing it. God showed up in a big way at Kalahari 2012!” In total, more than 700 commitments to Christ were made during the weekend.
Another adult leader expressed, “What a great weekend bringing everyone together – lives changed – great teaching!”
Andrew Gartner, a student from Grace Church of Powell, wrapped up the weekend like so many students who walk away saying, “Kalahari was the best weekend of my life!”
Other guests for the weekend included Grace College, Encompass Partners, and CE National (Ed Lewis).
“We thank God for His work in the lives of many this weekend and invite you to pray with us that it was an awakening that will see students awake and alive leveraging their entire lives to make Jesus famous!” said Nick Cleveland, pastor of high school students at Wooster Grace. (Nick also serves as director of the event.)
The next Kalahari Retreat will be January 4-6, 2013, and again will feature Exodus and Clayton King. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Artrip, one of two hosts for the weekend, reflected on the experience on his blog.