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The fourth annual MAR conference will be Aug. 5-6 at State Farm Arena.
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The MAR conference is open you young people ages 16 to 25.
What happens when you take 50 students between the ages of 16 and 25, mix in some leadership with a lot of vision, a heart to reach their community for God and a complete lack of regard for who gets the credit? You get the fourth annual MAR conference moving into the State Farm Arena because the anticipated turnout is too great for previous venues to handle.
According to the youth leader Laura Rosales of Vida Abundante Church, where the event originated, the annual event has surpassed expectations every year, reaching out to more teenagers than expected and incorporating several churches from across the Rio Grande Valley.
While this is the conference’s fourth year, the name – MAR – is new. The name is a recognition of the fact that we all go through life marred. People come to the conferences hurt, surrounded by a world filled with war, discrimination and any number of other things that mar us. “The Church has been marred, hurt, the beauty destroyed by what’s going on around us” said Rosales. “But Jesus is here to restore the beauty of the Church, to restore the beauty of students’ lives and to empower them in their abilities.”
The event is remarkable in that it’s put on predominantly by the students themselves. “What we’ve always aimed at is by students for the students,” Rosales said. And unlike many other Christian teen conferences, MAR is not entertainment or celebrity-driven. “We want to empower the students so they know they don’t need a celebrity, but they can lead themselves.” She adds that they didn’t want “just a two-day event, but to make a change [in students’ lives] for the long run, that they’ll want to impact their school, their work and their community for Jesus.”
The MAR Conference is open to all students and will be held Aug. 5-6 at State Farm Arena.