By Hannah Rueber

For some, TeenStreet (TS) is a pre-scheduled part of their summers. Once they’ve come once, the following years are no question. The fellowship and spiritual encouragement draw them year after year.

A couple participants of TS 2017 have been fundraising for two years to come to their first conference. “I first heard about TeenStreet through the OM representative, who came to visit my church and talked to me about TeenStreet. I was excited and wanted to come,” Gabriel (Portugal) said.

“I heard about TeenStreet through ABLA, an organisation which had been at TeenStreet four years earlier and wanted to come back with more kids. Then some of my siblings came to TeenStreet as well. I wanted to come see it for myself,” Sarah (Portugal) explained. So she began fundraising to attend the 2016 TS Conference.

When her group fell behind their fundraising goals, Sarah decided to save the money they’d already raised for the next year and add onto it.

“We sold raffles, organised events, sold cookies … a lot of things to raise the money,” Sarah explained. “Some people from ABLA and my church also blessed us with money. In life, you have to work for the things you want. Now that I’m here, it’s all more than worth it.”

“It was April when I decided to come to TS for the first time,” Gabriel added, “so it was too late for me to register. But I decided to raise more money to come this year. I saved money from birthdays and parties…Being here, it was all worth it. I’ve really enjoyed the worship songs and preaching, especially. I’m going to tell all of my friends about this, and I might be here next year.”

“Of course I’m going to tell my friends about this!” Sarah agreed. “I think this conference is suitable even for those who aren’t Christians. And the dance workshops are lots of fun.”

Both students said that, after all their hard work and simply being here, they feel a sense of relief and pride at being able to come.

“Some things are important enough that they are worth saving money for.”