National Convention

The Stories of National Convention


Anna Montgomery April 19, 2018
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There’s nothing quite like arriving at National Convention.

 

After surviving those last few minutes of driving (which are the longest part of the trip), you swing your car door open, and you’re greeted by a hot Tennessee breeze and hundreds of excited strangers. Even for the most extroverted of us, this sea of faces and endless chatter of voices can seem a bit overwhelming. So. Many. TeenPacters.

 

It’s the transition from this moment to the end of the week that I love most about TeenPact. Somewhere between the “hi, my name is . . .” and the good-bye hugs at the end of the week, relationships are formed, trust built, and community created. What began as a group of strangers connected by their love for TeenPact ends as a beautiful picture of transformative work that happens in a gospel community.

 

Each of us brings a story to this community. Stories filled with hard things and happiness, hope and sadness, quiet change and big vision. While at first glance, TeenPact seems to be the common thread bringing our stories together, the reality is, Christ is the one weaving our stories together for this week with one purpose – to glorify God and enjoy Him throughout every aspect of lives.

 

Here’s some of the stories we heard last year.

 

 

“SO MANY FRIENDS! I’m kind of a shy person in groups so I didn’t expect to make so many new friends, but I did! Everyone just treated me like family. I literally walked up to a group during coffeehouse and they didn’t even ask my name they just dived into a deep question about things that influenced us in our childhood.

 

One moment in particular stands out . . . during Mandy Meehans talk, when she asked us to stand up if we were facing a trial in our life, I stood up. I was crying really hard and I looked over and the girl next to me was too. We had never met before, but she reached over and we cried on each other’s shoulders. Afterwards we went to coffeehouse and sat and talked for a long. Now we’re friends just because she reached out and hugged a complete stranger.”

 

HANNAH DUNKLIN – TEXAS

 

 

 

“When I first met with my small group, I didn’t know anyone and didn’t expect to get much out of it. However, as we shared what God was telling each of us and were vulnerable with our weaknesses, I was amazed at how much I looked forward to the time meditating with my small group on what the speakers had said. In a few days I had some new friends, too.

 

For the past few years I have struggled with trusting that Jesus and the Bible are the Truth. I have tried to prove the Bible is true rather than accepting the evidence and trusting Jesus with child-like faith. Mr. McDowell reminded us that Christianity is the religion that best fits with science and the Bible is the most reliable source in all history. I need to let go of my life and completely trust Him. Kojo’s simple, dependent faith is what I want, and then I will be able to have a strong relationship with Christ as I learn to trust Him, and not myself or my evaluation of what is true.”

 

STEPHEN FERRALL – ALABAMA

 

 

“National Convention is my recharge, my springboard into living in a way that glorifies GOD alone. National Convention changes my world, then I feel ready to change the world directly around me, and the LORD never fails to deliver on HIS promise that “My Word will never return void.” I came toNational Convention this year with a lot of prior sin struggle and discouragement. I had made some decisions beforeNational Convention about giving up the struggle to do what I knew was right.National Convention made me change my mind. Saturday morning, I started the process of surrendering my all to the LORD. It took me all week nearly to make that happen, but I’m so thankful HE worked on me in such a way. I’m so thankful HE allowed me to go toNational Convention and didn’t pass me by and instead chose to change me from the inside out.”

 

LIZA BABER – TEXAS

 

 

 

“I am a parent chaperone. While I am familiar with the general atmosphere of a TeenPact event, National Convention stands on its own and is not comparable to other alumni events or the State Classes. The primary difference is that the students are completely free to be themselves and explore all that is TeenPact without necessarily having to work. It is a wonderful time of freedom, fellowship and bonding with their peers. Meeting so many of the wonderful parents of staffers, students and interns at the morning coffee hosted by the Sullivan’s between 7-8AM each morning. My TeenPact experience has been relatively short but intense . . . I have connected with students and staff and it was wonderful to meet the parents of such wonderful young people. Among them were missionaries, military personnel, business professionals and many other great moms and dads. Conversing with them was enriching personally. As Peter Martin said, “No Parents, No TeenPact”, so it was great to meet people who contribute so greatly to the success of the organization.”

 

PETER WYPYSZINSKI – LOUISIANA

 

 

 

Before National Convention, God convicted me to run with message that I was weak in. He called me to boast in my weakness by running on a message of forgiveness. My first thought was how can I talk about forgiveness when it’s something that I struggle with? But God showed me that just because I struggle with it doesn’t mean I can’t share my experience with others. It was an awe-inspiring experience after sharing my message I had multiple TeenPacters and adults talk to me about how they too were struggling with forgiveness. This had a huge impact on me – it showed me that when I share my weakness, God will use the experience to impact me and people in unbelievable ways.”

 

DILLION MELVIN – FLORIDA

 

 

 

Rendezvous was a great hit for me! I loved getting to meet the girls on my hall. I’ve made so many lasting friendships. And I learned almost as much through our day to day interactions in Rendezvous as I learned from the sessions.

 

I also loved elections and I’m inspired to run next year! It was so fun how all the candidates, whether they won or not, used it as a platform, showing their genuine love for Christ, and others.

 

God met me in the most personal way. On the way to TeenPact, I was riding with my friend and was sharing with her how God had been moving in my life. How I had almost found my way into a slight bit of depression due to my wanting to be used so greatly by God. Through my hall girls, God definitely taught me that happiness is a choice and that he still ministers in our day to day interactions.

 

JESSICA CODY – NORTH CAROLINA

 

 


 

It’s not too late to join us this year at National Convention 2018. Register today!

 

Register for National Convention

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Anna Montgomery

Anna Montgomery (and her crazy sidekick pup, Flynn), happily call the cornfields of Columbus, Indiana home.   She got her start in TeenPact… Read More

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