GraceConnect E-News, No. 84, Week of January 26, 2014


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

"Perhaps the Lord..." Kalahari Retreat 2015

For many Grace Brethren middle school and high school students, “intense” is a word that could sum up their experience this past weekend at Kalahari Retreat.

What’s Kalahari retreat all about, you ask?

Major fun. Also, major connection with Jesus. When the students were not zipping down one of the giant water slides in the second largest water park in the continent, playing crazy midnight games, eating stacks of pizza, or watching the international trampoline champions perform, the students were digging deep into God’s Word, listening to dynamic speakers and participating in intensive youth group breakout sessions.

And all of that packed into a single weekend.

For the last 10 years, student ministries from all over Ohio and Indiana have teamed up to plan and execute the Kalahari Retreat, held at the Kalahari Retreat Center in Sandusky, Ohio.

This year, Kalahari students got the full experience, experiencing dynamic worship by Exodus, Liberty University’s worship band, and hearing from speaker Jason Laird, students executive pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas (Robert Morris, lead pastor).

This year boasted students from 27 churches and over 2,000 students in attendance. Around 350 made first time decisions to follow Jesus, and 100 students rededicated their lives to Christ.

“When we step out in faith, God will show up in power,” Laird stressed during the last session on Sunday morning, preaching from 1 Samuel 14 where Jonathan and his armor-bearer steal into the Philistine camp with nothing but a sword and the declaration, “Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf.”

“Faith is what honors God the most.”

"It is so awesome to see God work in so many kids' lives in just a few short days," said Zach Pinkerton, one of the coordinators of the event and young adult and middle school pastor at Grace Community Church in Fremont, Ohio (Kevin Pinkerton, lead pastor). "Every year I love to watch God use the work of a few youth pastors from different Grace Brethren churches to impact these students. There really isn't anything like it within our fellowship of Grace Brethren churches."  

If you or your church are interested in participating in Kalahari, get in touch with Jeff at, or visit for more information.

Send us your story ideas!

[Your Turn]

Connect:  Each year, God uses the Kalahari retreat to bless hundreds of young adults. Spread the word! Tell a friend, youth pastor, or student about Kalahari Retreat

Read: Take some time to read and think about the story about Jonathan and his armor-bearer in 1 Samuel 14. Why did God bless their faith in Him? Talk with a friend or small group peer about the implications of the passage. 
What is one way you have seen God's people step out in faith this week? 

Hashtag #GraceConnectsUs on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for a chance to be featured in our newsletter! 

"Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few." - 1 Samuel 14:6
[Leaders's Corner] 

On Mission Insights, a ministry of CE National, shares Why Small Groups Work, by Ed Short. This brief but engaging article explores three benefits of nurturing small group settings in a healthy church. Click here to read the article. 

Events in the FGBC

March 16-18 – South Focus Retreat, Florida FFA Training Center, Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
March 20-21 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Frederick, Md. (WGUSA) 
April 24-25 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (WGUSA) 
June 21-27, 2015  Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario (GBC)
June 21-27, 2015 – Encounter Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
July 14-19, 2015 – Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN) 
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC) 

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to
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