On an April Wednesday in 2017, I stood next to my two kids in the Atlantic Ocean on a Florida beach. I listened in as their Youth Pastor asked them when they placed their trust in Christ.

Both of my kids said that they grew up in church and have known Christ since they were little. They served in church plants with their parents, volunteered in humble communities in Latin America, and helped their mom lead children’s ministry.

But then, each reported what helped them to make their faith their own.

Both Brandon and Anakarina said that their first Upward Challenge experience helped them to make the shift from the faith of their parents to their own belief in Christ.

Upward Challenge was their place of encounter with Jesus where they owned their own faith.

On this beautiful afternoon in a rough ocean, they each wanted to publicly state their ownership of faith by believer’s baptism or–as in the Presbyterian tradition–by reaffirmation of baptismal vows.

First, Anakarina.

Anakarina Walker being Baptised
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Then Brandon.

Brandon Walker being Baptized
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What a joy I had in participating in their reaffirmation of baptismal vows!

Walker Family praying after Baptism
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As we got out of the water, Brenda joined us in prayer for them.

Upward Challenge Led Us to This Day

Upward Challenge is a ministry that means a lot to us as parents. It was a place where our kids, who grew up in mission service in Latin America, could own their own faith, encounter Jesus personally, and be sent into the world.

This summer, Brandon is going on a mission trip to Bolivia. He and Anakarina will do a week of summer missions in an underserved community a few hours from here.

As a parent, I am grateful that Upward Challenge gave my kids the space needed to encounter Jesus personally. Though they are pastor’s kids, they still need that place to make the shift and Upward Challenge did that for them.

Walker Kids Baptism Family Portrait
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Our family is grateful for the ministry of PRMI, the young adults that give of their time to help make Upward Challenge happen, and the ministry leaders that sacrifice so that kids can meet Jesus–some for the first time and others, like mine, in their own personal encounter.

Give to Make it Happen for Others

The Youth and Young Adult Ministry of PRMI needs a leader to coordinate and advocate for all the Youth and Young adult events so that Upward Challenge and With the Wind can grow, enabling more young people to encounter Jesus Christ.

I invite you to consider a monthly gift to support that work. Would you be willing to give perhaps $30, $50, or $100 monthly to support a coordinator?

To give, you may:

  1. Call the office: 828-669-7373 to make a gift over the phone, including stock gifts.
  2. Go to PRMI.org and give via credit/debit.  Choose the monthly option if you wish to make this a recurring gift automatically. Be sure to designate your gift “Youth and Young Adult Ministry” or “Youth and Young Adult Coodinator.”
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