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A High School Student’s Account: Hearing from God for the First Time

Melissa Thwing

Melissa Thwing

Social Media & Marketing Manager
It was that welcoming atmosphere that encouraged George to open up and set aside his preconceived notions that church groups can be cheesy, unfriendly and boring.

It was at SpringHill Camps in the peaceful nature oasis of Evart, Michigan when high school senior George Cutler really talked with God for the first time. It was the first time he set aside any skepticism, doubts and fears and approached the moment with expectancy—believing that God not only listens to our prayers, but he answers when we call on Him.

God answered.

In a life filled with constant noise—the pressure of school sports, fitting in a social circle, achieving good academic standings—George finally heard the voice he needed to hear the most.

This pivotal moment in George’s life happened at the WILD Retreat, Kensington’s weekend away for middle school and high school students. Later that night, he gave his life to Christ.

“They presented me with that opportunity to lay down my life for the Lord,” George said. “There was no doubt I was going to take it.”

Accepting the Invitation
George’s high school girlfriend invited him to attend Edge, Kensington’s high school ministry. He accepted the invitation mostly to appease her, but to also entertain a bit of curiosity. He wasn’t raised in a Christian home and was never introduced to faith, but he knew something in his life was missing. When the leaders invited students to WILD Retreat, George knew the weekend was the answer to the isolation and missing piece he’d been feeling.

He stepped into the retreat weekend not knowing anyone on a personal level, and he left with authentic relationships.

“I felt super accepted,” George said. “It was the opposite of cliquey. Everyone was very welcoming.”

It was that welcoming atmosphere that encouraged George to open up and set aside his preconceived notions that church groups can be cheesy, unfriendly and boring.

“Man, that weekend changed everything,” George recalls. “I started to obey the Lord. I studied the Word, prayed more, and connected with God more.”

Jackson Prepolec, Student Ministries Leader at the Birmingham campus, recalls the night that George encountered Christ two years ago.

“We just threw a giant party for him,” he said. “We were there alongside George as he tried to process what just happened.”

Since the WILD Retreat, Jackson and George have formed a friendship with Christ as the foundation.

“Jackson is like a big brother to me,” George said. “He’s been there through it all to encourage me and make sure I don’t go astray.”

Giving Back: Helping Students Encounter God
Currently, in his sophomore year studying Accounting at Oakland University, George is a both a Breakaway (middle school) and Edge (high school) leader at Kensington’s Birmingham campus.

“It’s a priority that I make time to give back to a ministry that changed my life,” George said.

He encourages students in middle school and high school to prioritize a weekend away at WILD Retreat, October 25-27. He’ll be there, and he knows God will be there too ready to meet students wherever they’re at in their faith journey.

WILD Retreat
Our upcoming fall retreat is filled with wild activities and the truth that a life spent with Jesus is the wildest of adventures. Students will have outrageous fun and the chance to grow in their faith and friendships. Speakers include Central Discipleship Director, Justin Warns, and Traverse City Lead Pastor, Patrick Holden. Registration for WILD and info on all our fall retreats at

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