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onFor many of us the 1977 Y. P. Convention brings back many fond mem­ories. It was another week to be remembered by the great times we had as well as by the interesting and edifying speeches we heard and discussed. Once again we greeted friends whom we had said goodbye to last summer and became acquainted with the new faces.

The pre-convention singspiration again proved to be greatly enjoyed by everyone as our new Hudsonville Church auditorium was filled to its capacity, forcing latecomers to set up chairs in the fellowship room.

This year the convention officially began Monday afternoon with registration (giving us one extra night), arriving at Camp Geneva and settling down on time for a hamburg-fry outside. It was no problem this year deciding on which cabin to stay in, the grounds were familiar and many knew which way to head for the cabin with the bathrooms… and then of course, the braver ones, for the cabin by the hole in the fence.

A well-attended bonfire was held that night, with left-overs from registration lunch for refreshments after singing. Everyone enjoyed the free rime until curfew, mingling and reminiscing about old rimes (also planning new and exciting adventures).

After breakfast Tuesday morning Rev. Hanko gave an introductory speech and everyone split into groups for an interesting discussion on “Prayer”. We were once again taught that prayer is the most necessary means for us as Christian young people, to have true communication with God. We must pray to Him in faith and humility and also with the confidence that He will hear our prayers.

Coed volleyball teams were posted outside and tournaments began after lunch. In the afternoon there was free rime including swimming, softball, tennis, etc. for those not participating in the tournaments.

After having filled up once again Tuesday evening with an excellent meal prepared by our caterers, we cleaned up and met in the Chapel to hear a speech by Rev. Hoeksema. He spoke to us on our first point, “Seeking the Lord in Our Spiritual Activities”. Sue Besselsen, Lori Dykstra, Joyce Kuiper and Mary Pastoor sang a couple songs for us and Rev. Hoeksema closed with prayer.

After the mass meeting the drizzling rain took over most of our outside activities so games were started in the fellowship hall for those who were interested. The refreshments from regis­tration were offered once again to the conventioneers.

The next morning turned out to be the day that everyone was waiting for. Although some knew the secret behind “Wonderful Wednesday” there were still some of those to whom it came as a surprise. TWIRP (The Woman Is Requir­ed To Pay) was announced at breakfast and the rules were as follows: 1) anyone from 6 to 60 years old was allowed to twirp or to be twirped, 2) every girl was required to twirp (sad to say, some didn’t obey this rule) & 3) once the “twirpee” said yes to the “twirper”, he could not back out. Twirp could begin at any time during the day that the girl wished, and then along with it she also had to perform the duties required of her such as, holding doors and buying her mate pop, candy and what-not whenever he desired to have it.

After the excitement of the announce­ment we calmed ourselves and headed to the Chapel for the second introductory speech by Rev. Joostens on “Christian Stewardship”. We discussed the topic with the idea in mind that we are not our own but belong to our Savior Jesus Christ; hence we must live as a faithful steward using the talents He has given us to the best of our ability and to the glorifying of His name.

After lunch we finished volleyball tournaments and had free time the rest of the day to do what we wanted. When supper time came around most of the girls could breathe easy again… the hardest part was accomplished. For some it came easy, but for others it was a “tough and frightening task” to twirp a guy.

After picking up the guys from their cabins, we all met again for an inspiring speech by Rev. Moore on our second point “Seeking the Lord in Our Decisions in Life”. A flute-piano duet was given by Kristi Peters with the flute and Mary Pastoor accompanied her at the piano. After audience singing and closing prayer the visitors were invited to the dinner room for coffee and goodies, while the conventioneers had fresh popcorn and donuts. After the snack we all gathered in the fellowship room for activities prepared specially for “Wonderful Wednesday”. Prizes were given to qualifying couples such as a telephone for the couple with the closest matching telephone numbers, stationary for the couple who lived the farthest apart, a calendar for those with the closest birthdays, a ruler for the couple who lived the closest together and more. Following the special activities free time was given again for swimming, strolling around, getting a little more acquainted and possibly for some, just staring at the stars and listening to the waves roll in off Lake Michigan. Much too soon for many, it was time to escort the man back to his cabin.

After three very short nights of sleep, we all managed to make it to the breakfast hall once again the next morning to make the best of our last day. Prof. Hanko introduced to us the practical topic on “Dating” and discussion groups followed. These were probably the most active discussion groups of the week since the young people and leaders had various opinions on dating and on “playing the field” as was mentioned in the introduc­tory speech. Realizing that not one of us has any good in us at all, we must remember what we discussed the first morning that by seeking the Lord we must pray, and therefore we must also use prayer as our means to ask God to teach us to seek Him also in our dating.

The final business meeting was held the latter part of the morning followed by a hotdog lunch outside. Tug-of-war started immediately after lunch down on the beach, with ten people from each cabin pulling against each other. The competi­tion was tough but the farmer girls from Iowa deserved the winning credit in the girls match and after a second pull between the two final guys teams, the Michigan cabin of older guys came out on top.

There was free time again and many girls took this opportunity to get a comfortable and warm shower early in the afternoon, while the others had to be satisfied with a cold shower before the banquet. The punchbowl was at 6:00 with a delicious ham and chicken dinner at 6:30. After eating Sid and Todd Miedema favored us with a comic duet. After the banquet we met to hear our last speech of the week by Rev. Woudenberg on our third point, “Seeking the Lord in Our Daily Walk”. Presentation of the new Federation Board members was made by our new president Barry Gritters, and a special thank-you was given to Cal Kalsbeek for all his time and effort put forth into the past two conventions as our youth coordinator. Parting remarks were made and the convention theme song (Psalter No. 164) was sung. After closing prayer, we once again felt the closeness and love for each other as we sang together the familiar convention parting song “God Be With You Till We Meet Again”, knowing and trusting that God will lead each of us faithfully and safely through the days that lie ahead of us.

Friday morning we saw ourselves packing our suitcases and belongings to board the buses to go back to Hudsonville Church. Once again we would like to thank all parents, chaperones, ministers and donators in any way, who helped us to make this convention one of the greatest yet, and mostly above all else, our God who has again given us the opportunity of spending this week together.

Young people, may we always re­member that Seeking the Lord must be the first and most important part of all we do in every sphere of our lives and doing all to the glorifying of His name. Remember then, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near”, and God will reward each one of us accordingly in that Eternal Day.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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