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This was the fourth Urban Youth Conference for Jyson Beasley, 18, and he declared that it was as good as ever.

“I took a lot of stuff away from it,” he said, adding that he especially learned from a workshop about growing up without a father in the home. “[The speaker] said to be a better father than what your father was.”

The conference, sponsored by Christian Reformed Home Missions to reach kids from urban areas, was attended by 180 teens and leaders.

Princeton CRC in Kentwood, Mich., hosted this year’s conference after plans for another location fell through. The church wowed the participants with their hospitality. “They went all out of their way to make us comfortable,” said team leader Willie Mae Wilburn of Coit Community CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Princeton’s young people greeted the attendees with smiles, hugs, and handmade posters. Other church members served meals and created a respite room for leaders, complete with homemade goodies.

The conference included Bible studies, workshops, praise and worship, and fellowship time.

“We want to deal with relevant topics,” said Rev. Melvin Jackson, pastor of Grace Unlimited CRC in Los Angeles, Calif. “These young people respond to love. They are open to Christianity.”

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