The fourth annual Waves Girls Conference in Destin is just a month away. Waves Ministry, Inc. has expanded their horizons this year in doing teen and college girls conferences in Panama City Beach; Mobile, Alabama; Brooklyn, New York; and Auburn, Alabama. In 2018, the ministry has plans to expand even to Tanzania, Africa, doing girls conferences.

The ministry are aiming to hold true to their mission statement to make waves for Christ in their homes, communities, and world. Next month on Oct. 6 and 7, the teen and college ministry will come home to Destin.

The conference will have four sessions, photo booth opportunities, a tea party, a free youth leader luncheon, a free lunch for the girls, booths with merchandise, and a welcome dance party.

Worship will be led throughout the weekend by the Waves Worship team led by Taylor Maraman and Amanda Wilders. The keynote speaker for the night sessions will be Mercy Ministries Founder Nancy Alcorn.

Mercy is a Christian non-profit that helps girls experience breakthrough and freedom from behaviors such as eating disorders, self harm, addiction, unplanned pregnancy, depression and abuse. There are locations in Monroe, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; and Sacramento, California, along with the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand. Alcorn will speak on breaking points in faith, as well as Making Waves for Christ.

At the first morning session, Destin’s Mona Ponder will speak on currents in faith that you can sweep you up as a teen. Ponder serves as a board member for Waves Ministry Inc., has a business ministry called Business Empowered with her husband, state Rep. Mel Ponder, and is a realtor with Silver Real Estate.

During the second morning session, the Waves team will answer questions about high and low tides of life. The Waves team consists of the Founder and Chair Caroline Hare, who is the youth pastor at Destin United Methodist Church and writer for Upper Room Books; Christy Maraman, who is the vice chair of Waves and serves as a board member for Vision Church Fort Walton Beach; Taylor Maraman, who serves on the worship team at Vision Church; and Amanda Wilders, who attended Hillsong College, wrote a book called "Shall We Dance?" and serves as a worship leader at Destin United Methodist Church.

“Oftentimes people want to address the symptoms of the problems with girls like body image, depression, addiction, or an obsessive need for things,” Hare said. “Our ministry focuses on getting to the root of those, such as self worth, abandonment, or rejection. When the core issues are addressed there is a tremendous amount of freedom and girls can be launched into their calling so they can make waves for Christ. It is a beautiful thing.”

Sponsors for Waves include Destin United Methodist Church, Thrivent Financial Group, Compassion International, State Farm Insurance — Jim Liufau, The Donut Hole, and several personal sponsors.

Waves Girls Conference will be held Oct. 6 to the evening of Oct. 7 at the Destin Life Center, 200 Beach Drive. Tickets are $30 and available at www.wavesgirlsconference.com.