Youth wins challenge by putting on 77 shirts at once

Hannah Brown
Haviland Friends Church youth group member and Kiowa County High School student Luke Ballard set a local record for putting on 77 shirts at one time for an online youth group challenge. He was the contest winner.

The Haviland Friends Church Youth group has been adapting to virtual worship and spending time together since COVID-19 has forced them to quit meeting in large groups.

“We've been doing youth group through Zoom. It's not been ideal, but I'm thankful for the ability to use technology to get to see each other,” said Michael Scott, HFC Youth Pastor.

Along with these virtual meetings, Scott thought up some fun challenges that kids could do from their homes. One was to see how many t-shirts a student could put on at the same time. Scott provides encouragement by posting different verses on the church’s social media platforms, but the hardest part of all of this is not being able to meet face to face with his students.

“Young people today have a bad reputation of only wanting to be on their phones and only wanting to communicate through their screens. I know this is not true,” he said.

Members of the youth group has missed out on several things during this time, but the biggest was a spring-break mission trip to Mexico, Spring Invasion. It was a disappointment for both students and leaders who had fbeen fundraising and planning for the trip for months.

One of Michael’s favorite things about his job is getting to be a teenager again while playing games, and competing in challenges with his students. Another favorite part of his job is getting openly share about Jesus with young people.

“Getting to spend time with young people who desire to grow in their faith and in their walks with Christ, and just maybe play a small part in helping them grow, it's a privilege. Mallorie and I are extremely blessed,” said Michael.

Michael along with his wife Mallorie, work side by side with the youth group. Mallorie is a native of Haviland and Michael grew up in Bucklin. They moved to Haviland in August of 2018, before moving to Kiowa County, they were both teachers at South Gray Schools.