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American Teens Respond to Africa's Challenges

Contact: Mike Saunier, Director for Communications, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, 719-265-2009, saunierm@cmalliance.org

ORLANDO, Fla., July 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- The AIDS crisis, famine, unclean drinking water, and inadequate medical care are just a few of the daunting problems facing Africa. And students in The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) are responding to the continent’s overwhelming physical and spiritual needs. At LIFE 2007, a C&MA youth event, 7,500 high schoolers and sponsors descended on Orlando, Florida, July 3–7, to experience Christ and be challenged to expand His Kingdom. The five-day conference featured Project 132 (1 continent to expose, 3 hours to entertain, 2 ways to engage), an event designed to connect students with the C&MA’s ongoing work in Africa.

A total of $117,280 was collected in a cash offering for Project 132. Many of the teens were moved to give their own personal belongings—watches, jewelry, iPods, a Nintendo Game Boy, a compact disc player, a camera, and a camcorder. Students also donated first-aid equipment, clothing, linens, hygiene items, eyeglasses, school supplies, French Bibles, New Testaments, and more to fill a 40-foot shipping container that is being sent to Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Another major emphasis of the conference was service to the community. “Outreach was an integral part of LIFE 2007,” says Jerry Mapstone, LIFE’s executive director. Student teams made their mark on the city by working with Hands on Orlando. One group cleaned and painted a local school, while others worked alongside two Alliance church plants to help them impact their neighborhoods by meeting practical needs.

In addition, “The C&MA’s effort to identify and develop the next generation of missionaries and pastors was strong at LIFE,” says Carl McGarvey, director for Candidate Development at the U.S. C&MA National Office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. About 1,200 young people went forward during the Saturday morning mission's service to commit to serving the Lord in full-time ministry.

For more information on LIFE 2007, visit the Alliance Youth Web site: www.alliance-youth.com. The Alliance is a fellowship of evangelical believers joined together in local churches, dedicated to fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations. The Alliance maintains a “big tent” stance in reference to many doctrinal matters, encouraging believers of diverse backgrounds and theological traditions to unite in order to know and exalt Jesus Christ and to complete His Great Commission.