We’ve been gearing up for the past few weeks for Wednesday night, October 22nd, when we’ll be sharing some SCAR stories and believing for healing in the process of sharing (read more about it here, if you haven’t heard about it yet or if you are just stopping by for the first time).

Anyhow, I ran across this student-story on Facebook this morning from a young friend that some of you will know from previous camps; her name is Alisha Newman.  Some of you know about all of the changes and tough stuff that’s been occurring over at the Foursquare church in Watertown.  As I read her story, I was encouraged — and think you will be, too — to hear that Alisha’s faith is still so strong in her God and what He wants to accomplish in Watertown.  Here’s her story:

Well, because everyone else is starting to verbalize about the youth group, I want to as well! As many of you know, or should know, your youth group has been going through a series of extensive and significant changes! These changes have been impacting us in many ways! And these changes started…. 2?… 3?… years ago.

The first thing that happened that caused a massive chain of events in the church was Pastor Ray and Gayle leaving!!! Following that was our youth pastors Barry and Trish and then our Children’s Church Pastor Mary!!! Now, you tell me… don’t you think that was enogh change to take in at one time? Well, the truth is it went on from there like a rush of wind… and it knocked a lot of us to our knees!

We got an amazing new senior Pastor… Steve. And even though a lot of us didn’t like him at first… he has proven himself to ba a good guy! One thing that I did not like was when he decided to switch things up with the youth group and paint it and make it look more… professional? Well, now I realize that it isn’t that bad… and it really doesnt matter… and at first I absolutely hated all of the hymns that we were singing… but now… I’ve realized that he is actually making an efort to bring some more youthful stuff to the church… which is really starting to take effect. All though in the beggining I didn’t like the church… now I love it… and wouldn’t have it any other way!!!

We got a new Children’s Pastor… Krisit… and she has done a really good job picking up where Joanie… the fill in… left off. She has helped in the children’s church for YEARS… ever since I was a young girl in there… and what makes her even better is that she is a Republican House of Rep for S.D!

For a while Pammers was our “youth pastor” and she was amazing… but she had too much on her shoulders…. she was spreading her time thin… and consequently… youth activities just weren’t happening… and if they were… she was too busy with the other things she was going to be a part of it… which is totally fine… I love her. And then after 2 years of praying for a youth pastor who could be 100% youth pastor and not have a lot of other things that would hold them back from being there for us… we got our new youth pastor… Jeff. And he has done a really good job taking over!

Probably THE BIGGEST change that happened though, happened just weeks after Pastor Jeff became our youth pastor… the death of a really close friend and one of our sisters!!!… Tricia Lorraine Luce Sonen!!! She died on August 24th from an automobile accident… and that changed the course of history in every one of our fragile lives! We now realize that life really can be stripped away in one quick glance and we found the importance of living out our numbered days! I can tell you that it had a bigger effect on me than anything in my life thus far…. bigger than the tripil homicide in my family… bigger than the divorce of my parents… and certainly bigger than the diminutive changes that took place before her death!

I hope that as a youth group we really will put ourselves on the lampstand instead of covering our light!!! We really need to work on that!!! We need to be set apart from those who are of this world… and we need to work hard to get them to go to youth group and accept Christ!!! I don’t know about all of you… but because life is so short… I want to let everyone know and let them decide!!! The story of Tricia’s life is so beautiful… and I hope that as a church… as a youth group… as a FAMILY… we will strive to do what Tricia did… strve to smile always… and to love everyone… and to live fully!!! I want to see every one of us reach our full potential… and not be a dull and flavorless Christian… poor a little salt on your life and take a huge bite!!!

Don’t let the devil hold you back and tell you are not good enough.. if you have a passion go for it… and never look back and never quit on yourself!!! I love you all and hope you all realize how important we are to each other and to the others who are not yet our brothers and sisters!!!

Thanks so much for sharing, Alisha.  And thanks for granting me permission to pass it on.  I know it will inspire others, too.


  • Brittany

    Tricia was a great person and she touched a lot of people’s lives and I’m so honored to call her my best friend. I thank God everyday for allowing her to teach me so many life lessons.

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