Hope at the Creek

Hope at the Creek

By Leanne Martin, Director of Hope Pregnancy Center, Ardmore

As a teenager, I did not get to experience Falls Creek the way my friends did each summer. I remember hearing about their monumental moments with God, but it was not until I was an adult that I had those moments of my own. As an adult, I have spent many summers working with cabin owners and youth leaders, preparing cabins for campers and solving problems, but the summer of 2022 will forever be etched into my heart.

Hope Pregnancy Center (HPC) had the opportunity to receive part of the student mission offering which allowed Hope to have a presence at Falls Creek. Each Thursday afternoon, Hope staff visited with students at the display in the Missions Center and spoke during daily cabin devotion times.

Students learned about volunteer opportunities and services provided by Hope, while several young women asked for information about how to get involved at Hope. Staff encouraged them to visit the closest HPC or a pregnancy center where they live and find ways to serve.

Hope staff even joined in on the pin trading game! The theme for Falls Creek this summer was CHOOSE. The students explored spiritual disciplines, asking the question, “are we actively involved in being built up in maturity, becoming saved, set apart, solid and surrendered?” The popular pin theme was board games. Hope’s pin was a spin-off of the game of LIFE; it had the phrase “Life is Good” and a spinner modeled from the game. The Hope pin was extremely popular and opened the door for many great conversations with students. Hope Edmond director, Emilie Blount, and I had an exciting time trading pins with students, and I would have to say we gathered quite a collection of pins!

One young lady came to me after a cabin talk and told me she was pregnant but had not told anyone. She was almost five months along. She was scared, confused and in denial about being pregnant. I was able to have a great conversation with her regarding what her next steps would be. The very next week she went to a Hope Pregnancy Center with her boyfriend and her mother. They were grateful for our services and the opportunity to have an ultrasound. They even asked if I would like to be in the ultrasound room with them. We all got to see the image of a beautiful baby!

Society wants us to believe the youth of today care nothing about the things of God. The fact is these students are hungry for what God has to say on many issues in our world.

Hope directors and staff spoke to 2,815 students, 676 adults and 66 churches.  In total, 3,491 students and adult leaders heard what God is doing in the post Roe v. Wade culture.   Seven students made professions of faith, and four young ladies shared they were pregnant.

Falls Creek is a safe and spiritual place, so students felt comfortable presenting their questions and concerns on pregnancy and abortion. The students asked very thoughtful questions regarding what post Roe v. Wade looks like for their generation. Many young men asked how to make their voices heard in the matters of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. They wanted dating tips as they seek to live a life of purity and facts to help them communicate with peers who are in favor of abortion. They also sought advice on how to minister to someone who might be in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy or who has had or is thinking of having an abortion.

The Hope cabin talks helped forge the road for future conversations between youth pastors and their students. Youth pastors are looking for avenues to deal honestly with spiritual matters surrounding purity, unplanned pregnancy and the topic of abortion.

Hope’s prayer is these leaders gained understanding and connected with ways to respond to their students as they navigate the post-Roe culture.

One Tuesday evening at the end of my cabin talk, a young lady asked to speak with me about the life choices she had made. She had been invited to camp by one of her friends who attended the church. She admitted she was there for the cute boys. After hearing the sermons preached and listening to how God had worked in my life, she wanted to know what she needed to do to have Jesus in her life. That night she surrendered her life to Christ!

Falls Creek is an experience like no other. What a privilege to see the power of transparency and vulnerability within our youth and to be an eyewitness to the power of God’s life-changing gospel lived out in them. And what a joy to have young women come to me after hearing a small portion of my personal testimony saying, “I want that Jesus in my life.” I was able to go back to camp the next day to watch them get baptized in the creek. That is the good stuff!

If you would like to learn more about Hope Pregnancy Center, invite a Hope representative to visit your church or group to speak or if you would like someone to provide a tour at a center contact the Hope Pregnancy Center nearest you at