June 28 worship gathering hopes to inspire youth

by Jordan Green

The world may seem confusing for young people, but a group of Blackwell residents wants them to know: You’re accepted, valued and created with a purpose.

Those Blackwell residents hope children, teenagers, young adults and more will find that message to be true by attending The Resolute, a gathering of prayer and fellowship June 28 at the Blackwell Event Center. The event is free and open to the public, and if enough donations are received, the event will offer help to families struggling to pay utilities and buy groceries.

“Our young people, they’re just trying to find their place,” said Ginger Newland, an event organizer. “Their identity is so lost. We know with all the stuff going on, all the things in our world, all the social media – all the things they’re watching and listening to are imparting these lies that they have believed. We want to impart truth to them.”

Newland, Jamie Buxton and other locals have been praying for the town’s youth for about two years, and The Resolute is the result of their prayers, Newland said.

Featured at the event will be evangelist Peggy Nunley, who as a foster child overcame a childhood filled with abuse, Newland said. Nunley is the leader of Awe Star Ministries, a global organization that aims to help young people share the Gospel of Jesus boldly, according to the organization’s website.

Nunley and her 15-year-old son will be speaking during the event, and attendees will be invited to join in prayer, altar calls and praise and worship, Newland said. Food will be served as well. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., and the event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Buxton, who works with special needs students at Blackwell High School, said she sees the struggles of children and teenagers in the community.

“I see on the young kids depression, confusion, lack of identity, more so than even in my generation,” Buxton said. “My heart is to say, ‘Look, you do have a purpose. You are loved. You do have an identity in Christ, and you don’t have to be confused.’ … That’s my heart for the kids that I see, even in the high school.”

Event organizers also aim to help community members with two of their biggest needs: utilities and groceries, Newland said. The group is seeking donations to help pay utility bills and buy gift cards for families to use at grocery stores.

“With the families, we want to be able to have funds so that we can go and put money on their utilities,” Newland said. “Our vision is to hopefully have around $250, and we could draw three families. Or if we got, say, $500, maybe we could do $100 for five families.

“Our plans are to have a big prize, but we’ll draw that at the end. That’s going to depend on donations.”

Those interested in donating funds are encouraged to contact Newland by calling 715-642-4459.

Though pre-registration is not mandatory, those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP so that enough food can be prepared. To RSVP, visit the group’s Facebook page, “The Resolute.”

As the name of the event implies, the group’s mission is to help young people become “very purposeful, very determined, unwavering, bold, steadfast” in their identity and faith in Christ, Newland said.

“That’s who we are and who we want to be even more,” she said. “We want to teach these kids to be the same way. They don’t have to bow down to the ways of the world, of the community, of the circumstances of their life.”

Newland said she hopes young people will be inspired to live like Jesus with selfless service, truth and love for others.

“Serving God is not boring,” Newland said. “If it’s boring, you’re not doing something right. You’re living on the edge when you’re serving God. You never know where He’s going to take you or what He’s going to ask you to do.”