A local non-profit and ministry called Waves Ministry Inc. has been serving in the community the last five years putting on conferences for teenage and college-aged girls known as Waves Girls Conference. Four women make up the core of the team — Caroline Hare, founder; Christy Maraman, vice chair; Taylor Maraman, worship leader; and Amanda Wilders, worship team.

In the last two years the girls have started making waves for Christ, not just here in the local community but also throughout other regions. They have held conferences in Brooklyn, New York; Mobile, Alabama; Auburn, Alabama; Fort Walton Beach, Shalimar, Panama City Beach and Destin. In the girls conferences, they use waves and the ocean as spiritual analogies for faith.

Sessions include Breaking Points in your faith, Currents you get swept in, a panel on High and Low Tides, and Making Waves for Christ in your home, community, and world with an emphasis on the great commission.

During the conferences there is not only worship, sermons, alter ministry, panel discussions, but also fun with bonfires, photo booths, a leader luncheon, an occasional dance party, and a dessert after party. Their message centers around girls knowing their identity as daughters of Jesus and their calling. The leaders believe that girls do not have to wait until they are in their 30s or 40s to start making an impact for the kingdom. Young girls can start making an impact for Christ today.

Later in August the team is setting out for their first international conference in Tanzania, Africa. The team has been told to prepare for at least 500 girls at the conference in Arusha, Tanzania. They are partnering with Egon and Hannah Falk of New Life Outreach. The conference will hold girls from an orphanage, a boarding school, and surrounding villages.

“Our hope is to love on these girls in the same way that we would the girls in the states," Hare said. "We have surprise gifts, meals, encouraging messages, and lively worship planned for the girls. These girls could very well change Tanzania.”

Karen Debord of Thrivent Financial Group has partnered with the women of Goodnews UMC and Days for Girls to provide 150 backpacks with reusable hygiene items for the older girls during their monthly cycle. The women hand sewed the backpacks as well as dresses to go to the younger girls. In addition, the Buccaneer Pirate Ship and Southern Star Dolphin Cruises have provided the girls with handkerchiefs to block out the dust when walking to school, as well as something to wave in worship.

While the team is in Africa, they will also be ministering to the Masai women, an Aids Colony of women and children, public schools, private schools, orphanage, handicap school, villages, and on the local radio station.

In order for the team to do all of this and put on a conference for free to the girls in Tanzania, they need supporters. The team is still trying to get around 200 girls sponsored for the conference. If you are interested in partnering with the team and sowing into the next generation not only here in the states but also internationally, the Waves Ministry Inc. website is where donations are accepted. It is $30 to sponsor a girl.

To contact Waves, visit www.wavesgirlsconference.com or mail donations to P.O. Box 862 Destin FL 32540.

Caroline Hare is Next Generations Pastor at Destin United Methodist Church and can be reached by email at chare@destinumc.org.