Billy Starkey, Grace Students Director


“Hey! You guys doing that Kalahari thing again this year?”

These words were said by a guy coming to play open gym basketball at our church. He just graduated high school last year and, to be frank, isn’t following Jesus. His only connection to church, besides playing basketball here, is that I invited him to Kalahari and he decided to come with a friend. While he didn’t make a decision to follow Jesus that weekend, the retreat made a lasting impact on him. I’m trusting by faith that the seeds planted in his life through Kalahari will one day take root and I’ll see him give his life to Christ. Until then, I couldn’t help but smile when he complained to me about how unfair it was that he couldn’t go again now that he’s graduated. He might not know it, but God worked in his life through Kalahari.

Kalahari 2018 is coming up soon! It will be held January 5-7 and we are believing that just like in years before, God is going to change the lives of students that weekend. In a day and age where culture is counter to Jesus and students are walking away from the faith at an alarming rate, Kalahari is one of the primary ways that our church stands in the gap to say, “not on our watch!” We aren’t giving up on the next generation and neither should you.

If you’re reading this, you have a part to play in seeing students experience life-change. There are three main ways you can contribute:

  1. Go: If you have a student in grades 6-12, sign them up to go to Kalahari! Maybe you have a friend or family member with a student that age – talk to them and send them too! Last year we saw 30 students become followers of Jesus at Kalahari. Who knows what God will do this year!
  2. Give: Last year you gave $7,525 toward Kalahari scholarships at 69 students benefited from that. Help remove the barrier of finances from Kalahari so that a student who otherwise couldn’t go would be able to experience all God has in store for them!
  3. Serve: I know this is a big request, but maybe you should consider joining the 77 adults who attended Kalahari last year as a leader. Yes, you’ll have to give up your weekend and yes, you’ll be in a hotel suite with at least 10 students, but the truth is, yes, it will be every bit worth it. There’s just something special about getting a front row seat to see God work.

If you want to invest in the Next Generation by contributing toward Kalahari in any of those ways, head over to and make it happen!