Plaisted and Schulze minister to Florida youth
August 05, 2009

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Cami (left) and Alicia at
the Girls' Retreat
When Cami Plaisted’s original plan to intern at either a financial firm or a local bank this summer was derailed by organizational budget cuts that eliminated both possibilities, Cami saw how “God used the disappointment for His purpose.”

Through a series of circumstances, Cami was invited by Kevin and Betsy Brian, who had recently started Journey Church, Inverness, Florida, to be their first summer youth minister. Cami worked energetically to launch the new youth programs that included Tuesday night Bible studies, weekly activities, mission opportunities, special Sunday youth services, monthly worship nights, and Girls’ and Guys’ Retreats.

Alicia and Cami (3rd and 4th from left)
with some of the youth group kids
Early in the summer, Cami began to plan the last worship night for the summer to include youth groups throughout the community. While this event, Night of Worship (NOW), was coming together, Cami called a close friend from Bryan, Alicia Schulze, to ask if she might like to be involved in NOW by leading the music and the Girls’ Retreat as a discussion leader. Initially Alicia and Cami thought that lack of funds might stand in the way of Alicia getting to Florida to participate in the two events. However, as Alicia explains, “Ideas became reality; and before either of us knew it, support was coming in for me to go to Florida! We couldn’t believe it!”

Alicia singing the closing
song at NOW
After countless hours of preparation, perseverance, and prayer, both big events occurred. Not only did NOW capture county-wide attention and the interest of local newspapers, it also powerfully impacted several Christian leaders and numerous youth in the community. Furthermore, God also worked through Alicia to deeply touch and inspire the hearts of girls at the retreat.

In the final days of summer before Cami and Alicia return to Bryan for their junior year, Cami will be attending the Lawton Chiles Leadership Corps Conference in Orlando, Florida. She said, “This is a great opportunity to hear from CEOs, influential speakers, and political figures who desire to see young people excel in education and life.”  Alicia is back home in Morganton, NC, where she will be speaking on Beauty and Identity at a second girls’ retreat on August 14-15.

Some of the girls chilling out at the
lunch table after the Girls' Retreat
morning sessions
As the girls reflect on their summer, both agree that they would have "never have guessed what God would use them in this summer." What they do know, however, is that "we have been moved, we have been challenged, and we have been changed."

And Dayton will soon benefit from the girls' summer experiences. They and three other Bryan students are planning a spring semester NOW event.