Tyler Guilliams speaks at FCA event

| January 14, 2019

Members of the youth group DUCK from Burt Avenue Wesleyan Church attended the Fellowship of Christian Athletes event held at River View High School on Jan. 13. Jen Jones | Beacon

WARSAW – Cold and snow couldn’t keep teenagers from attending a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event at River View High School on Sunday, Jan. 13.

“Kids are searching for hope,” said Deb Strasser. “There are lots of hurting kids out there and they are looking for truth and Jesus outside of church. These groups are making a difference in the schools. We’ve heard from the kids and teachers that there is a definite change in schools. I believe God is moving in the hearts of young people.”

Several members from the youth group at Burt Avenue Wesleyan Church attended their first event. Co-leaders, Leslie Liedtke and Michelle Warner, thought the event would be a great way to get kids interested in the group. The group is called DUCK (Disciples under Christ King) and has a goose as a mascot. The youth named a stuffed goose “Duck” and decided to call their group the same.

Alaina Liedtke is a sophomore at Ridgewood and part of the DUCK group. She was attending her first FCA event and just wanted to see what it was like. Kate Uhlig is an eighth grader at Coshocton Christian School and has attended FCA events before. She likes the events because she likes being around other kids who are Christians.

After pizza and games, Tyler Guilliams, a teacher at River View, was the night’s speaker. “My message is about hope.  I talk about hope at the beginning of the school year and share my story – of being hurt and pain. I think the kids see me as someone they can talk to about any part of their lives,” he said.

“This county – it’s hard for some to find hope with job loss, money problems. The kids are affected by divorce, suicide, depression. They need to hold hope. To find hope, they need to be aware and God is a huge part of that. We need to share our hope – be a light – with people who may not have any.”

“You never know anyone’s story or their pain unless you ask. We have to be aware of how much power each person has to change our community and bring hope.”

Students requested Guilliams as their speaker. When asked why he thought that was, he laughed. “Maybe because I’m younger and I talk to them at their level. I don’t talk to them like students, but like they are my kids. I love going to their volleyball games, basketball games and cheer for them – loud and proud. It doesn’t matter if I’m the first person to cheer for them or the 22nd, as long as they have someone cheering them on.”

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Category: Faith

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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