Community, nonprofit and church leaders gather for morning of prayer and encouragement at the Hilton
VANCOUVER — Unity, not division. Hope, not destruction. A time of healing. Leadership matters. Such were several of the topics and declarations impressed upon those gathered for the 2019 Clark County Prayer Breakfast.
The gathering was a sea of fully-filled tables throughout the main conference room of downtown Vancouver’s Hilton. Over a dozen nonprofits were featured and well over a dozen sponsors supported the event.
The Vancouver Police Color Guard opened the morning with the presentation of the colors, followed by Officer Rey Reynolds’ powerful singing of the national anthem. Opening prayers as well as topical corporate prayers were delivered by community leaders and pastors.
Mark Hughes of Hughes Team Reality, was presented with the Honored Citizen award, and was followed by keynote speaker, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Daniel York.
“What you put your hand to is vision, teamwork, character, attitude, conduct, wisdom,” York said, reviewing his main points. “Leadership, I define it as someone who faithfully unites heart and mind in honorable, selfless action for the betterment of others so as to effectively accomplish the mission.”
York focused on how his time in the military shaped him into the man he is today. Many times he harkened back to occasions where he says God and his peers showed him how valuable teamwork is, and why great leadership is critical.
Of the many nonprofits represented at the breakfast, two are rapidly expanding their impact and are focused on equipping the better “next generation of leaders; the youth of Clark County.”
“Often times, when we’re using social media to reach the next generation of leaders, we use the hashtag ‘Leadership Matters,’” Ryan Johnston the regional vice president of PNW FCA said from the stage. “We are about disciples making disciples.”
Johnston serves alongside a team that includes ambassadors to area schools within mapped areas including Clark County. FCA recently opened a north office in Vancouver at the US Digital Outreach Center.
“We believe leaders create culture and culture creates the next generation of leaders,” Johnston said. “So FCA really is an opportunity to create a space on a public school campus where these kids can have conversations that matter and learn what it means to be a leader, but not just a leader, a leader for Christ, somebody that uses their influence to expand the kingdom.”
In lockstep with the mission of FCA is another Clark County-based nonprofit with the mission of equipping young people and it’s known as Flash Love.
“We’re, right now, on mission to mobilize four and a half thousand youth, just on this side of the river. That’s youth raising youth,” said Flash Love Founder Andrey Ivanov. “We give them an assignment and they knock on doors and they build relationships with people throughout this community.”
Founded by Andrey and Michael Ivanov in 2013, Flash Love is uniting young people in service and love towards their community. They endeavour to “make a difference in this broken world,” and “work with high school age youth teaching them leadership by example as we identify needs in our community.”
During the prayer breakfast, Flash Love presented a video compilation of dozens of community projects, events and outreaches they have facilitated with youth. The presentation was a part of honoring Flash Love as the successful organization by the Prayer Breakfast Steering Committee.
“This is symbolic, it is it is extremely powerful,” Ivanov said. “Because this is a place where people get to be encouraged that there is stuff going on outside. This is not just one lens that, you know, from the mass media that shows them that our community is falling apart … So for us to be here, to be encouraged like this, it’s incredible.”
Flash Love also has office space at the US Digital Outreach Center, and runs it’s many operations out of the location. They even brought their custom-painted school bus from the location to the breakfast to demonstrate how they mobilize crews of young people. Above all else, Flash Love’s message is that Jesus loves you, and you have an identity in Him.
The morning closed out with a benediction from Heidi St. John of Firmly Planted Family and a time of worship lead by Officer Reynolds. He sang “Amazing Grace,” and amazing it was.
For more information of the Clark County Prayer Breakfast, featured nonprofits and upcoming community events, visit the website with additional links or find them on Facebook.