What does it mean to biblically fear God? How do we find true wisdom? How do we find freedom from the fear of man? All of these questions and more were addressed this year at yet another excellent RYS International Convention. The theme of the week was “Got Wisdom?,” a multifaceted topic. Seeking the ways to exercise godly wisdom, attendees were continually pointed to fear God, focus on the gospel, and live intentionally before the face of a holy God. A spiritually rich week (July 14–18) was experienced by 740 students, as well as speakers and youth leaders from all over the United States and Canada, who gathered at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.
Rev. Paul Murphy of Brooklyn, New York, and Mr. Rip Pratt of Escondido, California, were the two keynote speakers for the week. Their talks illuminated aspects of the theme verse: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.” (Ps. 111:10).
Workshops (topical sessions led by various pastors) were also held throughout the week. It was wonderful to see how each topic of discussion tied back to finding wisdom in the Lord. The weather was quite warm, but students still enjoyed many outdoor activities on the beautiful campus, as well as a day trip whitewater rafting. Devotions twice a day, sports tournaments, singing, and the talent show were just a few of the events that made our week together speed by.
Anyone who attends the national convention would agree that one of the most special aspects of RYS is the sweet fellowship shared by believers who are like-minded. It is truly a blessing to see God graciously work at the convention. As attendees departed, the call to action, “Knowing the fear of God, we persuade men,” echoed in our minds, and prayers were lifted up for Christ’s transforming work in our lives and in the lives of others.
Anne Karsten is a member of the Young People’s Society at the Grace Reformed Church in Waupun, WI.