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

Melissa Thwing

Melissa Thwing

Social Media & Marketing Manager

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 kensingtonchurch.org/retreats.

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Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

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Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

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Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

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Together Again

updated June 23, 2021

It’s been life-giving to be in-person for our weekend services since last July when we reopened. If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us in person sometime soon.

Reservations and ticketing have been discontinued at all our campuses.

Masks are optional at all services, events, and ministry gatherings for kids, students, and adults. We know that everyone needs to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family, so if you feel comfortable removing your mask, you may. And if you’d like to continue wearing a mask or face covering, you may do that as well. This is a personal choice that only you can decide what is best for yourself when attending in person at Kensington.

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We’re grateful to be together again!