As a child born in Oregon Conference with a couple of years of experience in Texas, I admit it’s a true blessing growing up in the Pacific Northwest. There are so many things I enjoy about our church and conference. Those things include Oregon’s annual camp meeting at the Gladstone Headquarters in Portland and Washington Family Ranch’s yearly youth camp. However, there was one thing as a teenager I did not enjoy regarding our church. After Gladstone and WFR were over, I would have to wait another year to interact and meet with the youth and friends I made at these beautiful camps.
West Metro for Christ, WMX (X for Χριστός/Christ), along with its members, three from each church, was designed to bring the community of youth closer to Christ and each other by expanding beyond their local churches. After the Holy Spirit, I would argue that the second thing that lures the youth is more youth. Think about it. Isn’t it wonderful and edifying to meet new people who share your same faith at mass gatherings like Oregon’s camp meeting every year? Well, the same applies to the youth. Coming together with other youth from different churches strengthens their relationship with God and fuels a fire within their souls that they later bring back to their local church.
WMX ministry has established local gatherings such as Bible studies, debating nights and sports nights in each of the three local churches throughout the week. However, Fridays are special. Every Friday, the youth of the three churches gather together at a house or church for vespers where they enjoy socializing, games, food, the Word and discussion. This type of ministry has proven to be a worthy idea to strengthen the youth of our churches. However, that’s not all. Every fourth Sabbath from September to November, we have our “Sabado Joven” or Youth Sabbath. One of the churches is elected for each month to host the entire youth group and their parents for one day.
Tuesday Bible studies at Hillsboro brought little Sam to his first Bible study and developed his desire to know more about Jesus while having fellowship with the youth. Later, he started attending Friday vespers. According to his mother, he and his siblings enjoyed WMX’s vespers, paving the way for his remarkable decision on October 22 during Sabado Joven. Little Sam gave his life to Jesus. And although he asked to be baptized after the service, while everyone was going home, he had established his new home in heaven and a relationship with Christ. Vespers and Sabado Joven have made a difference for many of our youth, but we do not forsake the reality that the Holy Spirit draws everyone to Christ. We hope to continue to be living vessels for God’s Spirit to work significantly in WMX.