IMPACT gets youth 'hooked' on God, grants wish of local girl with cystic fibrosis
By Janel Shoun on 6/23/2011
Click here to see Channel 5 coverage of IMPACT making a wish come true
More than 2,500 teens from all over the nation have converged on the Lipscomb University campus June 17-25 to enjoy the high-spirited combination of fun games, pranks, Bible study and worship that is IMPACT, an annual spiritually focused summer camp at Lipscomb University.
Youth groups from as far away as Ontario, Canada, and Montana have traveled to Lipscomb for both IMPACT Jr. and Sr., which include special interactive Bible classes taught by youth ministers, national keynote speakers, popular music acts and dynamic praise and worship. Teens hear challenging messages and enjoy special times of worship, concerts and activities, such as a dodge ball tournament, video game contests, inflatable games and Morning Impact, a daily pep rally in Allen Arena.
This year’s theme is “Hooked,” and an almost full-size pirate ship in Allen Arena is helping the coordinators tell the story of what happened to Peter Pan after the J.M. Barrie story. And, of course, the story offers up a challenging message about spiritual maturity.
IMPACT is not all fun and games. In years past the students have taken up collections to benefit Best Buddies, Nashville flood victims and the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. This year, the 2,500-plus teens will take up money to make a little girl’s wish come true.
Isabella Frensley, a nine-year-old Murfreesboro native battling Cystic Fibrosis, got a big surprise on Friday, June 24, when the IMPACT campers revealed to her that she will be traveling to Walt Disney World in July to meet her favorite princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted over 900 wishes with plans of granting the 1000th wish in 2011.
Impact co-coordinator David Skidmore, a youth minister in Murfressboro, has led his youth group to raise funds for several Make A Wish kids in Middle Tennessee, and this year brought the idea to the IMPACT camp. Isabella got to talk with Mickey Mouse by phone and to meet Belle on stage before she even left Nashville. The family was presented with Target gift cards to prepare for the trip, and Isabella got a bag full of goodies to use while in Florida.
The IMPACT campers had to raise $6,000 for this little girl’s wish to be granted. There are expected to be leftover funds, which will go to help tornado and flood victims across the nation.