More than 3,000 teenagers have visited Durango during the last three weeks to attend MOVE, a program of Christ in Youth.
"There is a total spread in size and denominations ranging from a group of four this week to 700 from Wisconsin two weeks ago," said Chase Alcott, the program director for the three sessions that have been held at Fort Lewis College. "For the last 20 years, we've always held one in Colorado, and this campus, this area, fits us perfectly. I've already booked three weeks for next summer."
Most of the high school students attending MOVE are from church youth groups. Days consist of three large gatherings for worship, live rock music and speakers. They also meet in small groups, pray and find time to explore Durango and play sports including dodgeball, Frisbee and more. Durango is one of 13 locations across the country that will host more than 20,000 students during the summer in the MOVE program.
"It's great to be with so many students that have the same focus of worshipping God and promoting Jesus," said Lisa Moxon, 17, from Journey Christian Church in Greeley, who is attending her fourth MOVE conference. Jason Kolban, 18, also from her church, is attending his first MOVE event, and said the week had inspired him to start getting involved.
Each year, Christ in Youth picks a global cause for students to support. In previous years it has been sex trafficking in children and the AIDS crisis. This year, the group has selected water accessibility and safety in Zambia, and showed a video made by in-house video producers at a service. Students are encouraged to get creative to help raise money for activewater.com, CIY's partner in the effort. Enough money has already been raised to buy 2,500 sand filters and the group is now raising money to dig wells.
One young entrepreneur bought Zuberfizz sodas in bulk and has been selling them to his fellow conference attendees. By Thursday night, he had raised almost $800 for water in Africa.
"I love taking our students to MOVE because it does a great job of firing them up not only for Christ, but also for taking the love of Christ into their community and out to the world," the Rev. Jon Alsdorf of the Durango Christian Church said. He's taking a group from his church to a MOVE in California. "The work with the water crisis in Africa this year is a great example of how MOVE encourages teens to go beyond just attending church."