Friends of Bethany Hamilton conference draws 200

KILAUEA — Sarah Hill was pleased to hear a positive message being taught to Kauai youth Saturday morning at Kauai Christian Academy.

“These kids are learning that their life has value and purpose and through motivational speakers and games and music, we’re trying to let the kids of Kauai know that their life counts,” said Hill, head of youth ministry at Kauai Christian Fellowship.

Friends of Bethany Hamilton brought the Rooted Kauai Youth Conference to Kauai Christian Academy to teach kids the importance of faith, perseverance and courage.

Hamilton and other guest speakers addressed the crowd of nearly 200 youth.

“I’m here to learn more about God,” said Sol Trevino, 14. “I’ve always wanted to be on the right path in life.”

Getting on the right path is one thing, but maintaining that relationship with God takes work, the kids learned.

“We’ve been talking about what it means to be rooted, and it could help my relationship with God be a lot closer,” said Jana Satatz, 15. “A lot of times, you drift away from God, and this can help you put more of your time into him.”

Janet Snyder, volunteer with Friends of Bethany Hamilton, has known Hamilton since she was a kid, and watched her fight through adversity.

To see other children try to follow in Hamilton’s footsteps is the reason she continues to help support a good cause.

“I think it’s good to have positive role models for kids so that they can do well,” Snyder said. “Anything positive is definitely needed.”

Hill pointed out that Kauai has a very high suicide rate, so to be able to teach the island’s youth about overcoming adversity while building a stronger relationship with God could really make an impact in their lives.

“A lot of these kids are living hopeless,” she said. “Our hope is to bring them hope. I love this program. Bethany’s heart is with the youth of Kauai. These kids never get to go to this type of conference unless they’re on the Mainland, so we wanted to bring that here. … Their life counts. They matter.”


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