United in spirit at Youth Quake 2014

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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Annual Briercrest event draws thousands of youth

Awesome. Amazing. Informative. Encouraging.

Those were the words Ali Boot, Allison Funk and Rachel Simpson used to describe their first experience at Youth Quake.

“I’m excited for next year already,” said Simpson, a Grade 10 student.

“The speakers are really attention-grabbing,” added Boot, a Grade 11 student.

Simpson, Boot and Funk were three of the many youth who gathered in Caronport this weekend for Youth Quake 2014 at Briercrest College and Seminary. The annual event that has been taking place for more than 50 years is for Grade 9 to 12 students.

Simpson, Boot and Funk said their favourite part of Youth Quake were the speakers, who Simpson described as “down to earth.” They said they learned a lot from the experience.

AJ Crocker, director of Youth Quake, said the event was another success. Approximately 2,000 youth attended the event, which has been the average for the past few years. That number includes 800 Briercrest students and 1,200 visitors. He estimated 130 of the kids at the event were from Moose Jaw.

“This is a school that resonates with people and we try to display the school throughout this event,” said Crocker. “I think the event moves the way it does because we have such deep buy-in from all of our grown up around here … who give and give and give, who allow and permit and let us throw this wild party in the middle of our school and disrupt our school life a bit.

“Because of that, we open up this space where God consistently and faithfully enters in and changes lives and shapes people to be better disciples.”

For Crocker, there were many highlights of the weekend. Awaken, a band consisting of Briercrest students, led the main sessions in worship and Mark Clark from B.C. was the guest speaker, who Crocker described as “unbelievable.”

There were also concerts by bands such as Britt Nicole, Nine Lashes, The Rocket Summer, Kutless and Ascend the Hill.

Crocker said more than 100 kids signed up to sponsor kids in need overseas by contributing $30 or $40 a month.

“Giving up $30 or $40 a month is hard. That’s not something teenagers are naturally driven to do,” he said. “It’s exactly what we’re trying to challenge them to do, to be thinking outside of themselves.”

This year, the event featured more seminars that dealt with between 20 and 25 different topics. He said the attendance was good at all of the seminars and he heard “no negative feedback.”

“It’s a clean, sober, chem.-free party in a very safe environment,” said Crocker. “I think for teenagers in general, there’s not too many places where that’s the case for them when they’re coming in massive groups. So we’re able to uniquely host in that regard.”

The Grade 9 to 12 age range is when kids decide if they want to follow God or not and Youth Quake is there to help, he said.

“For us, doing this event for this age group, is a matter of helping them make that call, helping them understand, giving them support in that decision,” said Crocker. “(It’s about) making sure that they’re able to know full well why they want to follow God.”

For a story on guest speaker Mark Clark at Youth Quake, go here.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Briercrest College, Grade 10

Geographic location: Briercrest, Caronport, Moose Jaw

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