Let Go: Take Root ● June 28-July 2 • Lake Junaluska, NC

Youth In Missions 2009 will be here before you know it! Mark your calendar for June 28-July 2 so that you don't miss a moment of this year's epic experience for young people desiring to serve God and God's people.

Youth In Missions has grown to be a leading venue for youth and young adults to learn from and share with today's most influential leaders in missions and social justice. With this year's theme "Let Go: Take Root," Grammy and Dove awards-winning artists Mark Stuart and Will McGinniss of Audio Adrenaline and teenage humanitarian Austin Gutwein join us to share their inspiring stories of letting go to follow God's call.

YIM '08 participants join together in a body prayer during evening vespers.

Check here often for new details about the event!

YIM Testimonial: Alan

Check back regularly for testimonials from youth and young adults who have been to Youth in Missions in the past. Our first one is from Alan in North Carolina:

"Lake Junaluska Youth in Missions...where do I begin?

I've been attending this wonderful reunion of God's awesome children since 1997. That makes well over a decade now. I've been in most of the roles there: youth, design team, speaker, praise leader, counselor, and always humble servant. There's just something awe-striking that keeps me coming back year after year. If I could simplify it to just one thing it would be that God's presence is so strong at this event that it is impossible to stand on the mountainside and not be moved by Him. No matter how you come: weak, strong, pious, sinful, wise, ignorant, faithful, doubtful, God will embrace you with open arms and love you more than you can imagine. In addition to an abundance of love you will meet life-long friends at the Lake. My LJ friends continue to be some of the best I've ever had, and though the distance separated us between YIM times, we've managed to share great conversations on the phone/internet, meetings in person at churches, events, weddings and other occasions. Their love and encouragement from God extends the entire year and doesn't just end when we say goodbye at Lake J. Youth In Missions week has consistently been a place that I've found a higher calling for my life. God has revealed parts of his plan for me and invited me to join in its splendor.

Alan playing bass at Youth in Missions '08

Where do I begin...Lake Junaluska Youth in Missions. The most wonderful part of YIM is that even though it is one of the most amazing experiences you'll ever have, it's just the beginning. You'll go back home with an overwhelming amount of love from God with a mission to spread that love and the friends to support you along the way. Don't be fooled, YIM is not the start of an easy journey. But it is the best journey, one that your creator has chosen you for and He will be with you. What is any life if not the pursuit of a dream? Begin at Lake Junaluska, dream big, love deeply, and join us for an amazing time...get ready to take the plunge and dive on in!"

Youth In Missions Teaser

Hoops of Hope

Austin Gutwein was just a 9-year-old basketball player when he learned about AIDS and the millions of children who had lost their parents to the disease. He felt God calling him to do something. He decided then to shoot baskets and raise funds for AIDS orphans in Africa on World AIDS Day 2004. That day he shot 2,057 free throws for the 2,057 kids who would be orphaned during one of his school days, according to statistics, and raised nearly $3,000.

Thousands of young people have since joined Austin in his shoot-a-thon called Hoops of Hope, raising more than $450,000 for food, clothing, shelter, a new school and a medical facility for AIDS orphans in Zambia.

Austin has been featured in magazines and television shows, and is a speaker on the Revolve Tour. This summer, he will join us at Youth In Missions, sharing his story and offering YIM participants a chance to have our own YIM shoot-a-thon to bring hope to AIDS orphans in Zambia.


Grammy and Dove awards-winning Mark Stuart and Will McGinniss of Audio Adrenaline have bid farewell to the stage as rockers and now travel telling the intimate stories of their faith journeys. Their career has taken them around the world on rock stages and to hurting places like Haiti, where they began the Hands and Feet project to care for the country's orphans. At first glance, their career sounds story-book, but in reality it was filled with as many hardships as successes.

While performing classic Audio A hits, and leading compelling worship, Mark and Will tell their story--a journey of faith filled with mistakes, as well as miracles.

“It’s natural for us to take the stage . . . but to do so as story-tellers adds an intimate twist”, says McGinniss.

From albums to videos, from rock shows to mission trips, these guys have forged a path of purpose and conviction. Now, as AAtalks, Stuart and McGinniss set out to inspire the next generation to let go of their fears, and grab hold of their destiny. Be there to hear their message at Youth In Missions 2009!

Discover more online at AAtalks.com or on MySpace.

Eddie Willis & the Narrow Path

Eddie Willis and the Narrow Path return for another year of praise as the worship leaders for Youth In Missions 2009! With his Garfunkel/Taylor/Chris Rice meets the youth/college retreat sound, Eddie is always a favorite at Youth In Missions! His spirit and attention to worship ushers young people to just the right place, whether it's actively praising God or contemplating and quieting the soul with softer ballads. Eddie Travels with the "Narrow Path" out of the Mississippi Delta, sharing original music and covering current worship music written by Crowder, Tomlin, and others. Get ready to get on your feet!!!

Check out Eddie and the Narrow Path online.

International Justice Mission

International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of sexual explotation, slavery, illegal detention, police brutality and other forms of violent oppression. They focus on relief and aftercare for victims, accountability for oppressors, and advocating for change of structures to prevent future oppression.

In the tradition of abolitionist William Wilberforce and transformational leaders like Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr., IJM’s work is founded on the Christian call to justice articulated in the Bible (Isaiah 1:17): Seek justice, protect the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

International Justice Mission will be sending one of their fieldworkers to speak to Youth in Missions participants this summer.